Denis and Linda Birkin from Conisbrough, who support a young man called Ben through Avalon’s Shared Lives service, were presented with the award at a stunning ceremony which took place at Doncaster Racecourse on 23rd October.
Under the Shared Lives scheme trained carers open their homes to allow an individual with a learning disability, mental health need or dementia to move into their home on either a short or long-term basis.
Having supported Ben since the age of 2, Denis and Linda have provided a wholly fulfilling life that has seen Ben become an active and valued member of the community, playing drums at church and singing in a local choir, as well as baking for community events and creating incredible artwork.
This personalised service has seen Ben become part of the Birkin family and that is the essence of what Shared Lives is all about. Speaking about Ben’s support Linda said “The only way support can be this good, is for it to happen in a family setting, within a strong family unit.”
Denis added “It’s so rewarding to do what we’re doing with Ben. Shared Lives really has to be the way forward.”
Huge congratulations to the Birkins for their award and the incredible care they provide; a stunning achievement.