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Since its inception Full of Life has taken part in countless consultations, conferences and research programmes, most of which although very worthy are left on the shelves of the people who funded them! Whilst we agree that consultations and conferences can be important for raising awareness, we feel they should be used to make a practical difference for families.

Full of Life · A self-help group managed by parents of children with disabilities

To make this point and to recognize the practical work that people do to enable our families Full of Life decided to create the Giraffe Award!

This award can be awarded to an organization, statutory body or an individual who sticks their necks out to make a practical difference to the lives of children with disabilities and their families in Kensington and Chelsea.

The following are the past recipients of the Giraffe Award

2013 - D.C Woodruff & Sons Ltd

This year's recipient of Full of Life's Giraffe Award 2013 is the team from D.C Woodruff & Sons Ltd, as they were behind the fantastic refurbishment of Kensal House, our new home!

The team worked tirelessly, with tight deadlines and very high expectations, and they really and truly delivered!

Please visit the D.C Woodruff & Sons Ltd website for more information about their exceptional service : www.woodruffbuildingcontractors.co.uk

2012 - Chelsea Westminster Hospital

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital received Full of Life's Giraffe Award this year for their fantastic ongoing work with people with learning disabilities. This work has helped parent carers and the people they care for have access to preventative and frontline services.

The hospital has also introduced regular Learning Disability Forums and Learning Disability and Carer awareness training for all the staff.

We hope they continue with this wonderful work, helping health services become more accessible for people with disabilities and their families.

2011 - Frank Redmond

Frank Redmond received our Giraffe Award this year. It has been the first time that a member of our staff team has been nominated for the award. This year has been very tricky for our families for all sorts of reasons and Frank has definitely stuck his neck out on numerous occasions throughout the year to make sure families receive the support they are entitled too. Frank is known for his focus, persistence, dedication and loyalty to our children and families. He keeps them at the centre of everything he does, which can include evening and weekend telephone calls and emails advising and supporting parents. This award was presented to Frank at our Summer Production of Oliver at the Chelsea Theatre, as it was the only way we could be sure that we could surprise him. We are very proud to have him as a member of our team.

2010 - Community Dental Service at St Charles Centre for Health and Wellbeing

This year's award has been given to the Community Dental Service at St Charles Centre for Health and Wellbeing, Exmoor Street. The team are Ranji Kulasegaram, Judith Traherne, Jackie Roche, Carol Jones and Martin Pendry. Full of Life Trustees, parents, young people and staff team have been really impressed by the Dental Service Team. They work with young people and adults in a calm, patient, understanding and respectful way, and they have a great sense of humour! As a team they are an example of how working together really makes a huge difference to the health of vulnerable people. And have even come to Full of Life to deliver a dental workshop with young people at our afterschool club. The team has expertise of working with people with complex needs that really should be shared throughout the NHS. In fact it's the only dental service where you hear laughter coming from their treatment rooms!

2009 - Richard Holden

Richard Holden is Head of Health and Disabilities and received our 2009 Giraffe award. Richard has worked in the Borough for a long time and has listened throughout those years to a lot of parent's frustrations, concerns and anxiety around the lack of services for their child and themselves as carers. He has been instrumental in opening up conversations, making sure consultations are actually achieving something and that parents are central and instrumental in any changes. He organised a consultation with families around the reshaping of overnight respite and play services, parents that could not attend the consultations were sent the information either by email or post and could contact Richard directly with their comments. Everyone felt that they had an opportunity to make changes for the good of all families.

Families were actually told how much money was available to spend and it was families who decided how this money should be allocated, what services were important to them and where they felt cuts could be made. This was a unique experience for parents!! And we are sure unique for Richard too! But it took courage and we acknowledged that with this year's award. These consultations are ongoing, and an annual report with updates of what has been happening since has been produced. Currently families have a high quality overnight respite provision, home based respite, a choice of afterschool and play services, both mainstream and specialist and more recently a new children with disabilities centre.

2008 - Harold Lisk

Harold Lisk received our 2008 Giraffe Award. Harold works with Westway Community Transport but has been 'our' bus driver at the afterschool and holiday services, since we began delivering services to young people with complex needs. Harold is one in a million... he decided that he would run the London Marathon for Full of Life. The fact that he was over 60 didn't seem to put him off at all! On the day Harold was injured, but continued running in spite of this. Our staff team were at the finish line to cheer him on and he finished the Marathon having raised funding which has been used for trips and outings for young people.

Full of Life · A self-help group managed by parents of children with disabilities

2007 - Paula Ellery

Paula Ellery has been on the Full of Life Radar for quite a while! She has been around when families had little of no services as we were not high enough on the Agenda. And she took the troublesome calls for this too! Paula is the Respite Care Coordinator for RBKC and works closely with families to ensure they have the right type of respite that suits them. But Paula does far more than this, she has a great relationship with parents is a great listener and has been known to work long weekends to make sure everything will go to plan for families. Paula deals with any complaints or concerns that families have in a professional, calm way and is known to quietly fight corners! This award has been warmly supported by parents, as they feel Paula is a great support for them as individual parents but also in terms of her overall commitment to children and families and she goes beyond the call of duty.

2006 - Paul Rackham

Paul Rackham Head of Joint Learning Disability Services received the 2006 Giraffe Award. Our afterschool service developed within a year and included more young people who were in transition from children to adult services. Paul was approached for funding for a part time senior worker which would allow us to continue to develop the service at the time. It also helped to meet some of valuing people agenda for transitions which is a notoriously difficult time for families. This funding ensured the continuity of support for young people and has ultimately allowed us to develop a high quality service for young people who are now adults. It takes courage to stick your neck out and Paul did this despite there being a lot of changes within Learning Disabilities Services at that time. But this funding has enabled us to continue to meet the needs of young people with complex needs in transition and now young adults with complex needs.

2005 - Derek Staton

Derek Staton, Acting Centre Manager at SCOPE Day Centre for Adults with Learning Disabilities received our 2005 Giraffe Award. In 2005 Acklam Playspace a totally inclusive playground was under threat of being closed, Full of Life were worried about the lack of play provision for children and young people with complex needs. At the same time Full of Life was looking to see what services would be available for our children when they reached adulthood and so we arranged a meeting with Derek. During our meeting we discovered that there may be an opportunity to develop our own services for children approaching transition from children's to adult services. We came to the conclusion quite quickly that we could work together and to set up our own provision seemed like the right thing to do, as the SCOPE building was available on certain days from 3.30. So Full of Life Afterschool Provision was founded. A lot of departments 'talk about working together, words such a joints commissioning, pooling budgets, sharing ideas steering groups, thinking outside the box are used on a regular basis. Although a lot of people were worried about whether we could do this, so did we at times! Derek never did (or at least didn't show it!) Derek was regularly marched in to play music for the afterschool club. Derek was the catalyst for children's and adult services. The service has been a complete success, continues to this day and has been the foundation for our Saturday, Holiday and Learning Centre Provision for young people and now adults with complex needs.

2004 - Denise Airey

Denise Airey, Development Officer for Children and Families Services received our 2004 Giraffe Award for her work reviewing respite care services for disabled children and their families. This was done through consultation with parents, children and young people. Families had the opportunity to give their views on what worked what needed to change. They could do this by attending consultation sessions, responding to questionnaires or by contacting Denise directly. One day's workshop was held by Triangle and independent organisation that also helped to ensure families views were heard in an independent way. The final report was produced into a booklet which was posted to all families. This was a first, as generally people take parents views and we never see where they have gone to or what is done with them. From this consultation process for the first time parents and yon people actually felt that their opinions were valued and could possibly make a difference and that at last someone was thinking outside of the box. Full of Life recognise that change can be difficult no only within a Local Authority, but most especially when trying to change something as sensitive as respite provision. We felt that by changing how respite services were offered to families to enable them to have a more flexible and wider choice was worth a Giraffe Ward and at last respite services could be based on what families actually say they want.

2003 - Yvonne Heard

Yvonne Heard, Housing and Social Services Community Care Disabilities Officer received the Giraffe Award for 2003. Her work ensured that changes were made to the criteria for disabled parking bays to include children with very challenging behaviour. For a long time Full of Life were award of parents who had children with very challenging behaviour and severe communication difficulties who did not qualify for a disabled parking bay, because they did not have mobility problems. For families the issues were that their child could run off without warning into traffic, hit out of throw things at passersby, thus endangering themselves and others, ultimately causing great stress to families. Following a consultation process which Full of Life took part, a paper was presented to RBKC supporting a change in the criteria to include children with severe behavioural problems. This change was agreed by RBKC and has allowed families who have children with challenging behaviour to have a parking bay close to their home to ensure their child's safety. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is a pioneer in doing this, as we understand that no other local authority has made changes to parking bay criteria's that include children with very challenging behaviours.

2002 - David Dyer

Our First Giraffe Award was given to David Dyer Head of SEN for Kensington and Chelsea for taking the risk and allowing a parent managed organisation to run the Parent Partnership Service. Although other local authorities now have this post, the service is generally based within the Special Educational Needs Department of the local authority. David felt that for this service to be absolutely independent is should be placed at Full of Life. Parents are extremely happy with the support they receive from our service, it offers them practical support and expert knowledge on any issue relating to Special Educational Needs. This service has been a very successful addition to our work and helps us to shape local services for families.