Certitude support worker wins National Learning Disability Award


Certitude is pleased to announce that Lewis Wallis, who works with people with learning disabilities in Balham, has won a National Award for his work. Lewis was nominated for his outstanding approach, his enthusiasm and his ability to bond with the people he supports.

The awards were based on an extensive interview from an experienced judging panel as well as a written submission. Lewis received his award from TV presenter Jeff Brazier at a black-tie gala dinner at Edgbaston Stadium on Friday 16th May.

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L:R Lisa Carr, from Care Talk Magazine, Alison Hare, Aisling Duffy, Wendy Powell, Lewis Wallis, Lester Bream, Jeff Brazier

On receiving his award Lewis commented: “I really can’t begin to explain the overwhelming feeling of excitement, nerves and honour I am feeling. In some ways it seems bizarre to be given this award in recognition of my role in supporting people, when it’s something that is so natural to me. I am totally passionate about my job and thoroughly enjoy working alongside so many other equally committed individuals in this wonderful profession. I love the people I support and the people I work with – and that makes for a great combination.”

Aisling Duffy, Certitude’s Chief Executive, also attended the awards ceremony commented: “We receive so many comments and compliments about Lewis from the people he supports, their families and members of the public that witness him at work. Last year we recognised his work with an internal excellence award and I am delighted that his efforts have now been recognised with this prestigious national award.

“The support we provide is fulfilling, at times challenging, emotional and often humbling. I am very proud of the many remarkable people who make up Certitude and I believe we have what it takes to support more people to take control of their lives and to be an even stronger partner for progress.”

An example of Lewis’s winning approach: Supporting Ernie

Ernie was devastated by the sudden death of his twin sister and Lewis volunteered to accompany him to the funeral in Liverpool when no one from his regular support team was available. Lewis took a day of his own time to get to know Ernie before the funeral and planned the trip to make it as positive an experience as possible under the circumstances.

At the railway station Ernie and Lewis spotted Liverpool footballer, Michael Owen, and, as Ernie is a big fan, they approached him for an autograph. Not only did he sign Ernie’s hat and pose for photographs, Michael Owen stayed and chatted for almost half an hour while Ernie and Lewis waited for a taxi. Ernie said that even though it was a sad event, the activity which Lewis had planned around the funeral had made him happy. The pair discovered they have similar interests like swimming, football and bowling and now Ernie wants Lewis to support him on holiday.

John Keaveny with Lewis Wallis
John Keaveny with Lewis Wallis

Really well done Lewis!  However……………one award wasn’t enough for Certitude!

We were thrilled to see John Keaveny also recognised at this national event for the fantastic work he does training clinicians and other health and social care staff about working with people with learning disabilities in Treat Me Right!   John was awarded runner up in the competitive Best Trainer category! Well done John!

John has written here about the awards ceremony and how proud he is of Lewis winning.