David Reid, Chief Executive – Highlights of 2016
I would like to thank each one of you for your continued support of the work we do to brighten lives and build futures for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability.
2016 was another year of great change and progress for Birtenshaw and it is difficult to identify the best moments as there have been so many, although I would like to choose just a few memorable ones.
The Birtenshaw Diamond Anniversary Gala Ball
The most significant highlight for me was Birtenshaw’s Diamond Anniversary Gala Ball. It was a fantastic evening with a brilliant performance from the young people in collaboration with Sitcom Soldiers and the chance to celebrate 60 years of supporting young people with Special Education Needs and Disability.
I was delighted to welcome our new Patron, Natasha Coates, who announced she would be taking on the role at our Diamond Anniversary Gala Ball. We are thrilled that Natasha has chosen to support Birtenshaw in this way and we look forward to working together to brighten lives and build futures during 2017 and beyond.
Birtenshaw Diamond Award Winners
During the Diamond Anniversary Gala Ball awards were given out to staff, children and young people who had contributed the most to life at Birtenshaw. The children and young people’s awards were for Outstanding Progress (awarded to Victoria P), Outstanding Achievement (awarded to Gareth D), Outstanding Friend (awarded to Daisy F), and Outstanding Contribution to Birtenshaw Life (awarded to Irina A). For staff Deputy Head Teacher at Birtenshaw School, Kaylie Crompton for Outstanding Creativity Penny Meah, Registered Manager, Clarendon Gardens Children’s Home was named Outstanding Unsung Hero. Susan Wynne, Senior Administrator, won the Outstanding Contribution to Birtenshaw Award. Cara Slater, Senior Learning Support Assistant at Birtenshaw School, was named the Outstanding Shining Star Employee.
National and Regional Award Nominations
Birtenshaw received no less than twelve regional and national award nominations during 2016. The awards were: Bolton News School Awards Head Teacher of the Year (Julie Barnes, winner); The GB Care Awards (Mark Brennan Registered Manager, Kerry Smith, Newcomer, Jan Liptrott, Care Home Worker all finalists); National Diversity Awards (Birtenshaw School shortlisted); Wealth & Finance Magazine Business Elite CEO of the Year Award (David Reid); Department of Education Regional Character Awards (Birtenshaw School, winner); Times Education Supplement School Awards (Birtenshaw School, Special School, finalists); National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards (Penny Meah, Manager, Colin Peel, Front Line Leader, both finalists); E3 North West Business Awards for Outstanding Women in Business (Julie Barnes, finalist).
All the Employees of the Month
Each month we recognise a member of staff who has gone above and beyond in their everyday roles. Those recognised during 2016 were:
The National Camping and Caravanning Week Challenge
Six pupils from Birtenshaw School participated in the 2016 National Camping and Caravanning Week Challenge, and the pupils from Birtenshaw School were chosen as regional winners to take part in a one night camping adventure at Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire.
Brand New Service Areas
The Birtenshaw ‘group’ continues to develop the services we offer in the areas of School, College, Children’s Care Services, Adult Care Services, Activities, Training, Therapies, and Enrichment. The most exciting new service area development is of course Birtenshaw School Liverpool, which is now being constructed and will be ready to welcome the first pupils in January 2018.
Coffee and Cake
Birtenshaw opened its Community Café in 2016 to give Birtenshaw College students valuable work experience in a range of areas including literacy, numeracy, science, food technology and customer service skills. Birtenshaw Community Café offers a wide range of coffees including: Americano, Espresso, Latte, Cappuccino, Macchiato, and Mochaccino. The Café is open 11.30-13.30 weekdays at the College site.
The Anderton Adventure
A group of young people enjoyed an adventure holiday in August at the Anderton Centre in Rivington, Bolton. Many of them participated in activities they have never done before such as speed boat driving, raft building, tree climbing and building camp fires. Everyone benefited especially from the opportunity to work as a team.
Children’s Care Services Ofsted Outstanding Ratings
One Birtenshaw’s most impressive achievements is that 86% of Birtenshaw’s Children’s Homes including Children’s Short Breaks are now graded as Outstanding by Ofsted. Birtenshaw School has been independently judged as outstanding and is awaiting Ofsted’s official inspection.
The 2016 School Leavers
In July 2016 Birtenshaw School pupils celebrated their ‘Prom Night’, and all the young people got involved in making a big ‘Good Luck’ banner to say goodbye to three Birtenshaw School leavers.
To all those young people that have moved on from Birtenshaw’s services or have moved in to new services at Birtenshaw, I would like to wish you all the very best for the future.
We are all looking forward to continuing to Brighten Lives and Build Futures in 2017 and beyond.