BASE Award Winners 2022

BASE Award Winners 2022

The BASE awards were presented on 9th November 2022 as part of the Conference dinner at Leeds City Hilton Hotel. This year we decided to try and capture the atmosphere of the awards presentation, so that everyone in our BASE community, not just the people who attended the conference can share the fantastic achievements within the supported employment sector.

BASE is working with Beacon Films CIC , a Newcastle based production company of filmmakers with learning disabilities, autism and additional needs, to produce a series of short films which will be available very soon.  

The BASE awards recognise and celebrate outstanding practice in the field of supported employment in the UK.  Their focus is on promoting the remarkable work that goes on across the country to help people with disabilities and other disadvantages get the support they need to achieve their work aspirations and retain paid employment. 

We'd like to congratulate the winners and those who were highly commended. Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination.


Team of the Year Winner : Hackney Council (sponsored by EADS) 

The Supported Employment and Internships Team is part of the council’s highly successful Employment and Skills Service. Established in September 2017, the team was commissioned by Adult Social Care to provide specialist support to people with disabilities and health conditions to overcome barriers to gaining and sustaining work. In its first full year of operation, the team supported 45 people into work – 80% higher than the team’s annual commissioned target. To date, the service has worked with over 900 residents, with health conditions and disabilities, supporting over 500 in the last financial year alone.

In the last financial year the team successfully supported 67 residents to gain paid employment, consistent with their individual aspirations. Moreover, the team’s work on Supported Employment resulted in 20% of Kickstart roles being offered to residents with a disability. Additionally, this financial year, the team has already supported 39 residents with health and social care needs into various jobs, ranging from Health to creative sectors. The Supported Internships are also celebrating its most successful cohort to date with 85% of interns on the Homerton Hospital Project SEARCH site securing employment within 2 months of graduating.

The Employment and Skills Team ensures that the Council uses its influence and levers to impact employment and skills delivery within the borough, to create more inclusive opportunities for disabled residents. Through its use of Social Value and Section 106 agreements, the team has set targets for local employers to commit to creating a number of opportunities for disabled residents including Supported Internships, paid work placements and to commit to recruiting at least 10% of their workforce from a disabled cohort. The Employment and Skills Plans effectively exercise the Council’s ability to influence employers and hold them accountable to inclusive recruitment practices through regular reporting requirements. 

Team of the Year Highly Commended- Targeted Employment Team Essex

The Targeted Employment Team was set up a few years ago within Essex County Council -  with the aim of developing employment-based pathways for young people with disabilities. Thus, supporting positive outcomes for young people and reducing the unemployment rate. The team of 4 Advisors and 1 Manager have a strategic role in looking at identifying gaps in provision and acting as a broker to build relationships and improve opportunities and outcomes.
Each Targeted Employment Team Advisor has an area of specialism
1 - Inclusive Apprenticeships
2 - Supported Internships
3 - Traineeships
4 - Community/ Enterprise projects

Essex County Council is collectively driven and passionate for young people with SEND to be supported in their journey into adulthood. They recognise that there is a need to bridge the gap between education and employment by instilling confidence in young people and their families to ensure vocational aspirations are met, and that employment is a viable option for all.


Practitioner of the Year Winner: Craig Maloney  (sponsored by Medequip)

Craig is an exemplary advisor, who strives to go above and beyond to provide support to local residents with learning disabilities, autism, mental and physical health conditions. He has been described by colleagues as “extremely knowledgeable, hardworking, empathetic and someone who will never back down from a challenge”. Throughout his time in Hackney, Craig has provided consistent support to all residents that walk through our door. Client’s have expressed he has had a ‘life changing impact on their lives’.

Craig has developed and sustained strong partnerships with many employers including; Homerton University Hospital, Vinci Facilities Ltd, Trademark Homes PLC and National Autistic Society. He has supported many employers to adjust their recruitment processes and put the steps in place to become Disability Confident. Within LBH he played a huge role in adjusting the Apprenticeship assessment sessions to allow our clients a fair chance within this competitive process. As a result of his hard work many employers now contact Craig directly to fill their vacancies. Sara Warwick Senior PA with Sizewell C commented, “Craig supported us through the Access to Work process and was always available to provide excellent advice and support to our team”.

Craig is an exceptional Employment Advisor who has the needs and care for every resident he supports at his heart. This is truly evident in the support and guidance he gives to both his clients and colleagues alike. He is an excellent team-player and a real asset to Hackney’s Employment, Skills and Adult Learning service. We are very fortunate and grateful to have him in our team.

Practitioner of the Year Highly Commended : Peter Newman 

Peter is a highly skilled and experienced support worker, who worked within the Supported Business from 2016 – 2019 and then joined Oxfordshire’s Supported Employment Team leading the Autism Employment Support Initiative.  Peter has led this project as the sole Employment Advisor working on programme since inception and has achieved some outstanding outcomes, making a real difference to the customers on programme. AES also provides in-work support for the first six months of employment, with Peter supporting individuals with an on-going need to access our ongoing support service where necessary.

Peter has demonstrated great networking skills to not only raise the profile of the programme, but also to engage employers proactively; one employer has commented on the assurance that Peter provided being a key factor in going ahead with employment - which has in itself has been a great success.

Peter is also a great mentor for junior colleagues and has also found time to induct new team members and mentor partner projects in the ways of delivering truly person centred outcomes, through the use of the 5 stage model and great vocational profiling.

Feedback from customers is unanimously positive, with customers and stakeholders finding Peter's warm, honest and professional support particularly effective in engaging individuals and employers.

Peter is a highly effective, professional practitioner who is a great ambassador for Supported Employment.



Best Employer Practice Winner: Hilton Hotels ( sponsored by Inclusive Trading )

Hilton has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to supporting people with learning disabilities to gain paid employment, retain their positions and progress in their careers. In March 2018, Joshua was the first candidate to be placed at Hilton London Metropole.

Supported by WorkFit and the vision of their General Manager Remco Norden, Hilton London Metropole shared the positive impacts of employing people who have learning disabilities to promote and encourage other sites to reap the significant benefits of a diverse team. This has resulted in the expansion of the partnership, and WorkFit is now working with 23 Hilton properties across England and Wales, coincidentally, Hilton Leeds, the location of this year’s BASE Conference, employs Colleen in a part-time role as a Food and Beverage Assistant

The Hilton teams have fully embraced a supported employment process, which begins with an accessible, informal interview and a site tour and if appropriate the chance to try some elements of the job. The Hilton staff teams have been hugely supportive of carving roles and provide workplace buddies to support their colleagues who have Down’s syndrome and ensure they feel valued and integrated in the team. Managers, Team Leaders and buddies have undertaken WorkFit employer training and have implemented this learning into their employment practices at all levels. This has included establishing flexible shift patterns, ensuring WorkFit colleagues can build a strong connection with their buddies and adapting mandatory training resources to support candidates to learn their roles in an accessible way. The staff teams have trained WorkFit candidates in a variety of roles across the business, Journey Ambassador, Concierge Assistant, Commis Chef, Restaurant Assistant, Breakfast Assistant and Pantry Assistant to name a few.

Feedback from customers and colleagues has been overwhelmingly positive and all locations have identified the benefits of employing from a wider talent pool, including:
• a comprehensive, on-going supported recruitment process that is free of charge and supports them to find dedicated, enthusiastic and loyal employees
• buddies/co-workers are positive about their employer employing someone with Down’s syndrome and found their commitment to equality and diversity reassuring and positive
• buddies/co-workers recognise the importance of valuing the social opportunities offered through work and often find ways to maximise these for people with Down’s syndrome.
• the satisfaction of seeing people who have Down’s syndrome learn, develop, and grow into their work roles

Best Employer Practice Highly Commended: Multipave NW Ltd ( sponsored by Inclusive Trading )

Multiwave NW Ltd were nominated by the Workfit Programme.  Multipave demonstrate strong advocation of the extensive positive benefits of supporting candidates with learning disabilities. The team at Multipave have demonstrated an incredible commitment to adapting their current recruitment practices. At every stage, Multipave have embraced the opportunity to develop their knowledge through accessing additional training for supporting people with learning disabilities in the workplace effectively. Multipave have taken pride in having a diverse workforce that is inclusive and representative of wider society. We are looking forward to developing our partnership with Multipave to create further opportunities for candidates with learning disabilities entering the construction industry.





David Grainger Award Winner: Todd Scanlon (sponsored by Outshine Telephone Training and Resources)

32-year-old Todd was interested in construction and had been persistently looking for a work experience placement. He started a scaffolding apprenticeship at Coles Scaffolding in October 2018, working 2 days a week. With his strong work ethic, Todd quickly became a valued and respected member of team. Speaking after joining the company, Todd said “I always wanted to go into scaffolding because it’s my favourite thing to do. I mainly do a lot of fittings, laying out and carrying the kit and equipment.”

Martyn, of Coles Scaffolding commented, “Todd is single-handedly changing attitudes just by being himself. Having Todd on site with the team is brilliant, he’s a good presence, a hard worker, all the customers like him. He is such an inspiration to others. Todd comes in every day, does his work, and just continually proves people wrong. Even if Todd decided to quit scaffolding tomorrow, it’s been an amazing journey and opened so many doors. I just hope that Todd’s achievements - and us telling his story - will help convince many other businesses to give someone like him a chance. That’s all anyone with disabilities wants: a chance.”

Todd is determined to professionally develop, and in 2022 with Martyn’s support, and despite many barriers, he has been accepted onto a Scaffolding course at Weston College. This will see him become a fully qualified scaffolder, in what could be a UK first for someone who has Down's syndrome.

Todd truly is an inspiration, having persistently broken-down barriers with the support of his employer, to progress in career.


David Grainger Award Highly Commended: Luke Ralph (sponsored by Outshine Telephone Training and Resources)

Luke is a former student of the Castle School. He has moderate learning difficulties and ASD, and some problems with his speech. Luke was extremely motivated to gain employment, and was willing to push himself to achieve this. He wanted to work, not just to earn money, but to feel part of a team, to be a role model for other students with additional needs and to make his family proud. Luke participated in the school’s “World of Work” Supported Internship programme at Donnington Valley Hotel & Spa. He worked in different areas of the hotel, until he identified his “dream job” – to be a waiter in the hotel restaurant. The management were so impressed with his dedication, reliability and endless enthusiasm that they offered him a paid “job-carved” role in breakfast and lunch service. Luke has always demonstrated a genuine passion and motivation for giving his absolute best. As part of his introduction to his role, he was required to complete extensive online training, covering many aspects of hotel work. He displayed his usual determination to achieve this, and in fact completed it ahead of the other trainees at the time. Luke takes huge pride in this role at Donnington Valley and is very committed to the organisation, even encouraging his twin brother to work there. His story continues to inspire other Castle School students. Interaction with Luke has also driven the hotel’s wider agenda in understanding Autism and having a more inclusive workforce. Luke is a very well-liked and respected staff member and has recently been promoted to Restaurant Supervisor.


David Grainger Award Highly Commended: Luke Ralph (sponsored by Outshine Telephone Training and Resources)

Callum is a Teaching Assistant at Maltby Hilltop School in Rotherham.

This year he celebrated his five-year anniversary working at the school. Callum is incredibly professional and has a talent for communicating with the children in his class. He has shown a constant desire to upskill himself and a dedication to the post that has resulted in him being an incredibly valued member of the team. Callum loves to learn and takes part in the school’s community training days, often attending training sessions on his days off. He was recently chosen to be questioned by their safeguarding governor regarding the safety of students in the school and he passed with flying colours. During the Covid-19 Pandemic, Callum showed real resilience to the situation and continued to work whenever possible, assisting with helping the other students and staff to cope with the changes that were occurring in school. Callum took this in his stride and even when he contracted Covid from a colleague at work, he was positive about getting better and back to his job, whilst also taking care of his 80 year old mother who was very ill with Covid after only just having heart surgery.
Callum is a friendly and outgoing person who loves to give back to his community. He is heavily involved in local events and performs on a regular basis. He is happy to dress up and entertain the students when it comes to social events at the school.



David Grainger Award Highly Commended: DV (sponsored by Outshine Telephone Training and Resources)

DV was referred to Unity Works who supported him to successfully secure a paid role as a Gallery Assistant at the Whitechapel Gallery, a position he has now held for 12 months. DV has overcome adversity, bereavement and an ongoing battle with mental health, to become an integral part of the team at the gallery. From the outset, DV had several setbacks due to high anxiety and panic attacks as well as learning to adapt to a new environment. Being confident in communicating with his colleagues and members of public, has been a struggle for DV at times. However, he has been given time to develop his communication skills further. Over the last 12 months, DV has shown dedication and a positive outlook towards his work which has increased his confidence. Whilst a year ago, DV would often need to be encouraged to interact with customers, he now takes the initiative in starting conversations with visitors and expressing his enthusiasm for Art when engaging with the public. This has been further demonstrated, when the gallery hosts events supporting local and emerging artists. DV really enjoys working these events, when at busy times he can portray his skills such as making sure visitors know where they are going, without being overwhelmed. If he needs any additional support he knows he can radio his manager.

DV has continued to impress his line manager and has recently been offered a permanent position when his current contract ends. DV has been open about continuing his personal development, gaining his permanent position provides him with the opportunity to excel further. At the same time, DV has a huge passion for Art, with his main goal to have his own exhibition at the gallery.

Learner of the Year Winner – Sarah Dixon sponsored by Inclusive Trading 

At the start of the course, Sarah introduced herself & explained her role. Sarah is a job coach mentor on a supported internship programme, which she says is growing well.

On Day 1 of the Certificate course, Sarah said she aims to support the students to the best of her ability and has a qualification in careers advice. As she has Cerebral Palsy, the students describe her as “one of us”. 

She also said she was keen to improve her techniques for employer engagement.

During the taught sessions, she was very engaged and made many positive contributions. Her enthusiasm and passion for what she does, shone through.

Sarah’s portfolio of evidence for the qualification was of a very high standard, completing the first 4 units first time and only needing minor tweaks to the last 2. She was also very dedicated to the process; she started in March 2022 and completed by the September.

During her professional discussion she demonstrated how much she had learnt and how she is putting it into practice. This included the fact the team are now using Vocational profiling, which they weren’t before. She also said that using the BASE employer engagement model is now getting more employers on board and because they knew the students better and in more depth, they are getting better placement matches! She said they also plan to improve how they complete and use job analysis.

“Sarah has been a joy to see in the classroom and to assess her work and she shows herself to be a very strong, enthusiastic, creative and dedicated practitioner”

Liz Mellor Assessor