Learning Disabilities & Autism

Leading change in profound and multiple learning disabilities

Stacey Sheldon, Progress Care

Stacey Sheldon, Progress Care

The world of profound and multiple learning disabilities care is not for the faint of heart. It demands a unique blend of dedication, compassion, and innovation. Every year, the Profound & Multiple Learning Disabilities Award sheds light on those individuals who rise to this challenging task, and this year, Stacey Sheldon of Progress Care stood out as a beacon of excellence.

Navigating her way up from a Support Worker to a Registered Manager of a 9-bed complex health needs home, Stacey’s journey exemplifies passion and commitment. The leap from Team Leader to Manager was significant, yet she embraced the responsibility with an unwavering spirit. The challenges of 2022 tested many, but Stacey remained steadfast, particularly in those heart-wrenching moments when she supported two children in their final hours.

“When I saw the role advertised, I knew I had to step-up and take it.” Says Stacey. Keen to continue to advocate for those she cares for.  Of equal importance was her goal of embedding and passing-on everything she has learnt to her team members. This was critically important when making the decision to apply for the position, and an opportunity she thought she would lose if she didn’t.

The rest as they say is history as Stacey is in position as a Registered Manager. The beauty of her leadership lies not just in her ability to provide care, but in her knack for forging genuine connections. A poignant testament to this was her commitment to a young patient during his last moments, symbolised by holding his hand until his parents arrived.

Through Stacey’s nurturing approach, families feel not just as clients, but as integral members of a larger caregiving family. Her innovative perspective, referring to a patient’s care home bedroom as “his dorm room,” adds a touch of regularity and warmth to the often cold and clinical world of healthcare.

What sets Stacey apart further are her visionary strides in patient care. Working firmly to her core values of care, trust, and progress Stacey, and the impressive in-house team of therapists, have taken their passion advocacy and made dreams come true. A child with sever epilepsy recently achieved their dream of visiting Disneyland Paris. For many care providers this would have been a trip resigned to imagination, but for Stacey it was a challenge that required a different viewpoint, one that successfully succeeded in a positive and fulfilling trip to Disneyland, and a dream come true.

Driven by personal experiences that saw her father’s post-stroke care needs, Stacey’s passion for healthcare was ignited early on. This personal touch has been her guiding star, steering her from childcare to adult care, and eventually, into the realm of learning disabilities. The inspiration she drew from an experience caring for a young boy with autism underscores her heartfelt approach to care.

Being at the helm of a team is no easy feat, but Stacey’s leadership is characterised by her proactive approach. She challenges the status quo, thinking outside the box to achieve desired outcomes for those under her care. This willingness to push boundaries and advocate for her patients marks her a true trailblazer in the field.

Her continual thirst for knowledge is evident in her aspirations, now studying for a Master’s Degree in Child Psychology. She plans to put this to good use in further enriching Progress Children’s Services, and the lives of those they care for and support.

It’s clear that Stacey is not just content with maintaining the status quo. She’s on a mission to redefine it. Being commended in the Profound & Multiple Learning Disabilities Award not only celebrates her past and present achievements but also anticipates the brighter future she’s carving out in learning disabilities care.

With leadership from professionals like Stacey who inspire hope, innovation, and change in the healthcare landscape we can look forward to a very bright future indeed.

Kirsty

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