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Awards recognition for Flexicare project

A Renfrewshire project which helps people with learning difficulties has been honoured at a national care awards ceremony.

Renfrewshire Council’s Flexicare programme was a finalist in the Care Accolades 2010, the ‘oscars’ for the social services sector in Scotland.

The project featured in the ‘Investing Our Community’ category at the awards.

The Flexicare project was set up in 1989 to help support people with a learning disability of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD).

Over 230 people now receive a service that is tailored to meet their individual needs.

That service is provided as part of the Renfrewshire Learning Disability Service through a combination of 9 project staff, over 30 sessional workers and over 70 volunteers.

Flexicare’s support ranges from promoting awareness and understanding of learning disability and asd, to helping people take part in social and leisure activities, and supporting families caring for a son or daughter with those issues.

The type of support offered includes befriending, childrens’ clubs, youth clubs, young adult groups and social groups.

Fiona Brown, Manager of Flexicare, said:”Everyone involved with Flexicare was delighted to reach the finals of these prestigious awards.

“Our innovative approach has evolved over two decades to provide support which we know is very much valued and makes a real difference to people’s lives.

“This recognition is a tribute to the commitment and creativity of our staff and volunteer network.”

Councillor Eileen McCartin, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Community and Family Care Policy Board, said: “Flexicare has pioneered approaches which have over the years been independently assessed as providing good practice and a high quality of care.

“In addition to the support given by the trained volunteers, all the feedback we have is that the volunteers themselves also benefit from increased skills and confidence.”

Gerry Coutts, Chair of the Care Accolades judging panel, said: “Our social care staff have shown they have the confidence, creativity and skills to provide us with the services we need for the times we now live in. Social services staff are the key to ensuring our most vulnerable citizens have the best possible quality of life.”

The Care Accolades 2010 were organised by the Scottish Social Services Council and presented at a ceremony in Aviemore hosted by broadcaster Kaye Adams.