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A Lifetimes Worth of Service Celebrated at DSN Awards

Category: Award, Career Development, Personal Development, Deafness Support Network


Long service staff who totted up a total of 85 years of service for DSN were thanked at our recent staff development day.

DSN CEO Bob Birchall handed out certificates and vouchers to staff who had served both 15 and 20 years respectively, for the charity which has offices in Chester, Macclesfield and Northwich.

The presentation of the awards was given at the annual staff away day at Pryors Hayes Golf Club in November which focused on training, staff integration and planning for the following year.

“All of the DSN staff are true examples of the organisation’s values, which sit at the heart of everything we do. The pride in their work shines through in all aspects of their roles and we hope they will continue to work with us and our service users for many more years to come.” - Kirstin McCallum, Management Support Officer

The awards went to the following staff members

Neil McNally, 20 years

Working as a Supported Living Support Worker for the duration of his employment, Neil has had a key role to play in the Supported Living team who support deaf adults with learning disabilities and/or challenging behaviour and complex needs. Being Deaf and a BSL user, he is able to communicate with the tenants within Supported Living to ensure they have full understanding of their individual care plans and any activities they are involved in.

Pam Craige, 20 years

Pam’s roles have covered many aspects during her employment, from Access to Work Assessor to her most recent role as Project Leader for the Children in Need funded project ‘I’m Hear’. Pam’s ability to manage the project and deliver support/activities to families with Deaf children, with the support of her team, is one of DSN’s most successful examples of how our employees can relate on a profound level with personal experience of hearing loss, to the people we support.

Sonia Fitzpatrick, 15 years

Initially starting as a volunteer at DSN, then moving into the roles of Outreach Support Worker, Technical Support Worker, Deafblind Communicator Guide, Personal Communication Assistant, Front of House Administrator and most recently, Communications Booking Administrator. Sonia said: “I have been working for DSN for 15 years now and enjoy working here immensely, staff and management are extremely friendly, approachable and supportive, it really is a nice place to work.”

Denise Hough,15 years

Denise’s work history has been varied within administration roles throughout her career at DSN, including Supported Living Administrator, Social Work Administrator and most recently Health and Safety Administrator for the Supported Living Service.

Michelle Simpson, 15 years  

Leading the Supported Living Service and being the liaison between deaf communities, Michelle has been the key driver behind the ongoing success of the Supported Living Service, providing professional care and respite opportunities for Deaf and Deafblind Adults with learning disabilities and/or challenging behaviour and complex needs through a specialised staff base whose care and compassion for their roles makes the environment such a warm and friendly one to be part of.

Michelle said: “I joined DSN in March 2004 prior to which I worked closely with DSN whilst working for The British Deaf Association Counselling and Health Promotion Service. In DSN I was the Team Leader of the Outreach Service and in 2005 I became the Executive of the Supported Living Service –  I enjoy my job and working for DSN as my previous job was very much working on my own and now I am part of a wonderful supportive and happy team.”

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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