Crawley Down carer honoured for supporting home’s residents

Hayley Wilkins won Best Support Worker in the National Learning Disability Awards. Pictured with Trevor Wilcox, manager of Little Smugglers where she works (left) and Graham Carter, who she supports (centre) - picture contributed
Hayley Wilkins won Best Support Worker in the National Learning Disability Awards. Pictured with Trevor Wilcox, manager of Little Smugglers where she works (left) and Graham Carter, who she supports (centre) - picture contributed

A support worker at a Crawley Down care home has scooped a national award for her work with its residents.

Hayley Wilkins works at Little Smugglers, a small residential home run for adults with learning disabilities and challenging behaviours, such as autism and Asperger’s.

Last week she was named ‘Best Support Worker’ at the National Learning Disability Awards in recognition of her work planning and organising activities at the home.

Hayley was also recently part of a group from the home that took part in a sky dive as part of a fundraising campaign to raise £20,000 to turn an unused classroom to be used for sensory play, a cinema and day centre.

She said: “It’s amazing and so overwhelming. One of the guys who I support, Graham, came up with me.

“When it was presented I got him up on stage. He has Asperger’s so that was a massive deal for him. He also took part in the sky dive.”

Hayley’s manager Trevor Wilcox said: “Hayley’s infectious personality makes her popular with residents and staff alike.

“She is a good listener and engages with everyone, using signing with our non-verbal residents to ensure that their opinions are included. She offers great support to the rest of the team here and is always willing to share her knowledge and experience.”

To donate to the home’s campaign go to www.gofundme.com/q5aa9dw

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