Our first charity conference and awards ceremony, All About Aspens, held at the beautiful Salomons Estate in Tunbridge Wells on Friday, was a tremendous success.

The event was a wonderful opportunity to bring together our team from across the charity, to foster a culture of collaboration and teamwork and celebrate the incredible work of our values-driven people.

The conference featured presentations from the people we support and our team, and we heard about the strategic vision for Aspens over the coming years from Robbie Shanahan, CEO.

We were joined by The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP who spoke to attendees about what was important to them and pledged to maintain engagement with Aspens to help us in our mission over the coming years, referring to us as a "cherished part of the community".  

We were also joined by Dom Keohane from Innate Change who engaged attendees in a thought-provoking and inspiring workshop, including a spaghetti tower-building challenge, to gain insights on the importance of culture in the workplace to enable a collaborative environment.

The evening was all about recognising the wonderful team we have at Aspens and saying a big 'Well done' for their dedication, hard work and commitment to our charity and having a positive impact on the lives of people on the autism spectrum and with learning disabilities and their families.

A huge congratulations to all our team members who received a nomination, and of course to our winners for all ten categories as listed below. 

Robbie Shanahan, CEO, said: "Wow, what a day and night! I was so impressed with the contributions we had at the conference - from insights on life with Tourette's Syndrome to an inspirational story from a young woman who has been supported by Aspens through extremely challenging times to now be employed by us. It was fantastic to celebrate the outstanding work of our team in our first-ever Awards Ceremony, paying tribute to the way they demonstrate our values of empowerment, inclusivity and integrity every day. A special shout-out to Mike Giles who won the award for outstanding contribution to Aspens after working for us for an incredible 40 years! A huge thanks to all who contributed to the day and we're already looking forward to next year's event!"  

Well done to our Award winners, who were selected by a panel of people we support and staff members from across the charity. 

Person who Created the Most Positive Change - Michaela Poolton
Most Inclusive Employee - Gary Haynes
Person who Created the Most Impact for the Charity - Ruth Campbell
Best Newcomer who Shows the Most Promise - Erin Bashford and Emily Murphy
Best Example of Empowering a Person we Support - Lucy French
Best Sense of Dress - Paul Acton
Most Innovative - Courtney Newman
Outstanding Positive Behaviour Support Contribution - Stacey Starr
Best Team Player - Kai Melbourne and Gosia Czapiewska
Kindest and Most Compassionate Employee - Grace Jordan
Outstanding Contribution to Aspens - Mike Giles