Halifax woman Nadia Clarke has won the Individual Employer of the Year accolade at this year’s Skills for Care Awards.
Nadia, 23, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, went to Savile Park Primary School, Ryburn Valley High School and Calderdale College.
Nadia moved from Northumberland to Halifax so that she could go into mainstream education in Calderdale.
She has employed her own personal assistants for more than 16 years, using direct payments funded through Calderdale Council and Calderdale Adult Social Care.
She said: “It is an award that shows recognition of the work involved in recruiting, interviewing, retaining your own staff and developing their skills and ensuring that there is an excellent standard of care and support.
“I don’t use any agencies and have a fabulous team of young women who support me.
“This shows what can be achieved with hard work and self belief.”
With the support of her family, personal assistants and communication support workers, Nadia is able to recruit, induct and manage her staff to ensure they are supporting her in a way that she needs.
Nadia makes sure that her personal assistant receive suitable training from not only professionals but will also provide training herself.
By working with Nadia many have gained valuable experiences including international travel, conferences, skills and knowledge which has helped them to go on to work as interpreters, occupational therapists and teachers.
One of Nadia’s communications workers described her has “a people person”, who “is kind and thoughtful about the needs of her employees”.
Nadia, who was the youngest person nominated, impressed the judges with her focus and knowing what she is looking for from her staff. They loved that she is encouraging to her team and provides emotional support for her personal assistants.