Edward Nash “One to Watch!”
Each month we feature an Award Winning finalist; inspirational individual or team who are really are The Best of the Best in social care. This month we feature Edward Nash, support worker at The Grange and newcomer to the sector, who was hailed by the judges as “One to watch!”
“Supporting people to live their best life is a privilege. If I can make a difference in a positive way, then that’s epic!” These are the words of Edward Nash, or Ed, as he is known by his colleagues.
Ed’s journey in social care started three years ago when he joined The Grange (2016) as a support worker. Working in a residential home with adults with learning disabilities can be challenging and rewarding, which proved to be the perfect environment for Ed to flourish. His natural ability to engage with residents on an individual level helped him settle quickly and it wasn’t long before he gained a promotion to Senior Support Worker. In April 2017, Ed set off on a new adventure to travel saying that The Grange was an ‘extraordinary place to be’ and he returned in February 2018, this time taking on the role of Development Coordinator.
His return coincided with a new management team dedicated to delivering services to enable individuals to live enriched, fulfilled and happy lives. Ed’s role is very much at the heart of this and he pushes boundaries to ensure people’s experiences are led by their wishes and not their disability. He has boundless energy and enthusiasm, builds relationships quickly, has a passion to develop everyone’s unique contribution and brings humour to his work. This mixture of qualities engages supported individuals and motivates colleagues.
Ed has achieved a great deal in a short time including making new experiences accessible to residents, such as a trip to Formula 1 at Silverstone in 2018, where supported individuals experienced camping for the very first time. It proved to be such a positive experience that the F1 fever grew with more individuals going this year!
His involvement in a 3K fundraising ‘Santa Run’ encouraged healthy lifestyles and the opportunity to raise money for a local hospice. To further support people to build their stamina and get involved in local running events, Ed has since established a resident’s running club. The sport and fitness theme continued following the win for England in the Cricket World Cup. Ed took the current enthusiasm for the sport and created relationships with England and Kent Cricket. Individuals are now frequently in the garden honing their skills to hopefully join a team in the future.
Aside from sport and fitness, people’s horizons have been broadened through the recent International Beer Day. As an avid craft beer fan, Ed used this an opportunity for individuals to taste a selection of both alcoholic and alcohol-free beers. This was a great session, enjoyed by all, and has led to people making more informed choices about their drinks and a trip to local vineyard is being planned for those who prefer wine. Ed has plans to “infuse my passions by supporting adults with learning disabilities to establish a brand of craft beers, creating a social enterprise and real work opportunities for people.”
Ed is passionate about social justice and working with the local police Vulnerable Investigation Team (VIT). When he felt processes between the police and social care providers were unclear, he proactively raised his concerns with the local MP. After discussing further, he has become a learning disability representative on the Independent Police Advisory Group in Kent. This will lead to specific training and guidance for VIT when working with individuals with a learning disability.
Ever humble, Ed says, “I am grateful for the support and belief of our leadership team, who have enabled me to turn my passions into my vocation” and that same leadership team believe that his story is a great example of the positive difference that one person can make to the lives of many.