Double Awards Recognition


Date: Jun 12, 2018

Lynda Smith, Jonathan Reid and Christine Reid, who are all Shared Lives carers at The Avalon Group, have been shortlisted in 2 categories at the National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards on 29th June in Birmingham.

The awards, which recognise best practice and extraordinary effort across the care industry, see Lynda shortlisted in the category of “Making a Difference” and Jonathan and Christine recognised in the “Positive Behaviour Support” category.

In Shared Lives, trained carers open their homes to offer a short or long-term living arrangement for people with care and support needs; living together and sharing their lives whilst also providing safe, personalised support to enhance and enrich the quality of their lives.

Lynda was recognised in particular for her work in changing the life of a young lady who came from a very difficult situation which left her fragile and anxious. Lynda offered careful and gentle support, which included long nights sitting up and just listening to the young lady and working through her personal issues whilst building a trusting relationship. This has led to the young lady now enrolling in a childcare course (something she has always dreamed of doing) at a mainstream college, and becoming a Shared Lives ambassador who stands in front of audiences to extoll the benefits of Shared Lives as a service.

Jonathan and Christine have been recognised for the 26 years of intensive and innovative support they have provided to a young man who lives with them and requires 1 to 1 support at all times due to very complex needs arising from autism. The couple have introduced such initiatives as music/rhythm based communication, sensory decorations and environment adaptations around the house to create a soothing atmosphere. All of this has massively reduced the young man’s anxiety and ensures he feels an active and valued member of the household.

Avalon CEO Larry Hollando said “Shared Lives proves itself over and over to be the most beneficial and inspiring method of care. It is very special for us to have 3 of our carers as finalists in these prestigious awards, each of whom has done amazing things for the people they support; it is also important for Shared Lives as a service to be put to the forefront of the sector’s consciousness, so that it can continue to grow and change more people’s lives for the better.”


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Shared Lives is a pioneering alternative to traditional methods of care. Under the scheme, fully trained carers open their homes to allow people to live with them either on a short or long-term basis.

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