Our second Annual General Meeting was held on Monday, 11th September at Hillside. This year we combined the event with our first ever Aspire Staff Achievement and Recognition (STAR) Awards.
Following a welcome from our chair, Sheila Dunham, Ginger Cat Theatre Company gave an entertaining performance reflecting on some of their favourite events this year through singing, dancing and acting.
Chief Executive, Andy Rawnsley, presented the Annual Report for 1st April 2016 to 31st March 2017 (which you can download from the publications section of the website). Andy talked about some of the highlights: Aspire is supporting more people than before and has been able to offer permanent jobs to over 100 new support workers this year. People who use the service, family carers and staff have told us, through the annual satisfaction surveys, that they continue to be very happy with Aspire's services. Through careful management of our budget we have generated a small surplus to carry forward whilst, at the same time, achieving a planned reduction in our contract price to the benefit of Leeds City Council. We have grown the number of both Changing Places and Safe Places across Leeds making the city more accessible for people with a learning disability.
Caro Crawford, Chair of the Finance and General Purpose Committee, and Sue Laverick (Finance Director) presented the audited accounts which were approved by the members.
The formal part of the AGM was rounded off with a review of the year. You can watch the video by clicking on the link below:
We were delighted to welcome Leeds Rhinos players Tom Briscoe and Liam Sutcliffe to present the staff STAR Awards 2017. We had a bumper crop of colleagues who have achieved the milestone of working for Aspire (and previously Leeds City Council) for 25 years. All were invited to attend the ceremony to pick up their commemorative clock and certificate of achievement in person.
There were 6 categories in the STAR Awards for which staff nominated their friends and colleagues. More than 100 nominations were received and a cross-service panel of judges had the difficult task of shortlisting these down to 3 finalists in each category as follows:-
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR:
Jack Horner - gold award; Claire Dobney - silver award; Vicky Caldwell - bronze award
LEARNER OF THE YEAR:
Carol Turp - gold award; Dylan Kettlewell - silver award; Laura McLean - bronze award
COLLEAGUE OF THE YEAR:
Julie Lill - gold award; Vanessa Butcher - silver award; Margaret Atha - bronze award
Tim Snell - gold award; Brenda Ingleson - silver award; Kim Pratt - bronze award
Carol Benson - gold award; Joanne Beck - silver award; Debra Topping - bronze award
Holmsley Green - gold award; Audby Lane fundraisers - silver award; Alex Grey & David Turner (Sky Fallers) - bronze award
In addition, a Special Award was made to Peter North upon his imminent retirement at the end of a career spanning 43 years working with adults with a learning disability in Leeds.
For the full list of nominations, see the programme from the day:
We are grateful to John Lewis and the White Rose Centre for their support for the STAR Awards.
The AGM was rounded off by Des Thompson, winner of the 2017 Aspire Does X Factor Competition, singing Three Little Birds.