Congratulations to Mohammed Shahakbar, Kayley Davison and Dawn Bradshaw, support workers for our Essex Care services from Charles Harper House, who have been awarded a Gold Star in the June WOW awards.

The WOW! Awards are the UK’s only national awards that recognise excellent customer service based purely on customer and colleague nominations.

Mohammed, Kayley and Dawn were nominated by team manager Tracy Long for their recent work in supporting Deaf Awareness week.

They delivered some specialist training to Family Mosaic staff who had no understanding of the difficulties which deaf people have when out and about in the community. The training taught the group some of the facts about the deaf community, the importance of working in partnership and valuing other people.

It also helped staff think about being more visual in how best to communicate with someone who is deaf.

Tracy felt that the group worked really hard to deliver this important training; ‘The training was very well-led and made others be more aware of the importance of expressions and gestures when communicating with someone who is deaf. They also have a great deal of experience supporting their deaf customers in the local community.’

The training was delivered as part of Deaf Awareness Week, and the group participated in a range of activities throughout the week with their customers including arts and crafts, British Sign Language, a BBQ and a visit from the Deafinitely Theatre group.

The theme for the week was ‘Connect and Communicate’ and the overall aim was to highlight the positive outcomes of being deaf aware and how getting involved during the week, and beyond, can help improve people’s understanding of deafness and the range of methods of communications used.

Sue Allison, Head of Care South and Reablement Havering, was really impressed with their achievement; “They just showed real courage standing up in front of groups of staff doing role play, getting people to try and lip read, getting people to finger spell their own names and telling their stories.

They also put in huge amounts of their own time leading up to Deaf Awareness week, preparing activities, presentations, a theatre production and a barbeque.”

Congratulations to Mohammed, Kayley and Dawn. Their nomination and award really reflects their hard work and commitment to supporting the deaf community.