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Excellence in social care is celebrated

Published Friday, 02 July 2010

TWO local authorities who are leading the way in promoting independent living for disabled adults held an inspiring celebratory event.

Middlesbrough Council and Enfield Council were awarded Beacon status for their outstanding work in "Supporting Independent Living for Disabled Adults" at the 10th Beacon Awards Ceremony last year.

The Beacon awards recognise local government's excellence and innovation in improving quality of life for residents and communities.

To celebrate the end of a busy Beacon year Middlesbrough and Enfield Councils co-hosted the event at the Royal York Hotel which focused on the innovative work in both boroughs that enabled them to achieve Beacon status.

The day included workshops on key issues including employment and empowerment, question and answer sessions with panels of professionals and service users, personal stories, plus a drama performance from Middlesbrough's Impact drama group.

Cllr Don McGowan, Enfield Council's Cabinet Member for Older People and Adult Social Services said "Enfield Council is proud of how it has transformed the lives of many of our vulnerable adults and young people by allowing them to be able to live independently, sometimes for the first time in their lives.

"We are delighted to share the stage with Middlesbrough in providing top class services to our citizens, and this event allows us to publicise and share best practice with other authorities."

Councillor Barry Coppinger, Middlesbrough Council's Executive Member for Social Care, said: "The Beacons are about showcasing the very best in service delivery and Middlesbrough and Enfield are the top performers in their field, setting the standard for innovation, service excellence and improvement.

"This event highlighted the great work that is going on in both boroughs to improve the lives of many people with disabilities and it was a huge success."

Independent living is an important part of enabling disabled people to achieve equality of citizenship.

Enabling disabled adults to have independent lives is a departure from previous approaches where other people decided on behalf of disabled people how help should be provided. This could lead to segregation and social exclusion.

During the Beacon Year, both Middlesbrough's Social Care team and Enfield Council have held various events, both regionally and nationally to promote their expertise in this area.

This has led to further work with other regional authorities to share best practice and involvement in regional initiatives to develop supported independent living for disabled adults.

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