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Leicestershire woman scoops coveted Autism Carer of the Year award

Award for Leicestershire County Council carer

Three women stand on stage with the award winner holding her certificate and trophy
Lesley (centre) was presented the award by Helen Cooke and Kate Solomans

Lesley Helps from Syston has been named as the Autism Carer of the Year thanks to her dedication to helping those with the disability.

Lesley is a carer with the Shared Lives service within Leicestershire County Council. She works with those who have autism to learn new life skills, gain confidence, and enjoy respite with day trips and overnight stays.

After her win Lesley said: “I am over the moon to have won this award. I really enjoy being a Shared Lives carer and find my role very rewarding, so to be recognised on such a big platform as a carer of the year was really touching.”

“I am proud that the vast majority of people that I have supported have taken steps towards independence, gained confidence and achieved a goal we were working towards, being a part of helping someone grow is a reward I get to see every day.” 

Shared Lives carers offer an alternative to home care and care homes for adults with disabilities and older people. The carers live with or regularly visit the people they care for, and together they share family and community life, offering a more personal and nurturing approach.

The Autism Carer of the Year award was presented to Lesley as part of the Carer of the Year awards which are hosted by the Leicester Mercury and Inspired to Care in Leicester annually. 

Lesley was nominated by her colleague Claire Sutskova from Leicestershire County Council. Claire says she had no other choice but to nominate Lesley for the award; “Lesley has a very complex role working with many different people offering anything from day services and short breaks to working with those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder to live more independently and gain confidence.”

“What I most admire Lesley for is her unwavering enthusiasm for her role. I am so pleased that she won, it was very deserved.”

Becoming a Shared Lives carer is a rewarding career which gives people the opportunity to change the lives of those with adult social care needs from their own homes. Some Shared Lives carers offer long term accommodation and support, whilst others offer short breaks, where people stay for a few days or weeks at a time.

We are very proud of the work we do with the Shared Lives carers, it is a fantastic service which does so much to teach those they care for new skills, become more independent, and reach their full potential.

Congratulations to Lesley, we are all so grateful for the work she and other carers like her undertake. I urge anyone who is interested to look into the opportunities we have for passionate people to join this incredibly rewarding career.

If you’re interested in making a difference, like Lesley, visit: Shared Lives Carers 

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