Bateman Award Winners

Posted: 01/08/2019

On the 18th of July, we held our annual Bateman Awards. Named after our founding chairman George Bateman, the awards celebrate the successes and achievements of people from across the Linkage community.

Every year, the 600+ strong staff team at Linkage are asked to shout about the brilliant work and inspiring stories they’ve come across over the past 12 months.

With 10 categories to vote in, nominations can be for staff or clients, teams or individuals. The senior management team at Linkage then had the unenviable task of picking the winners.

Here are the 2019 Bateman Awards winners.

Health and Wellbeing Award

Winner – Ruth Whiffen (College Lecturer)

With with Linkage College Principal, Martin Shelton.

Ruth has used her own interest in health and fitness to encourage learners to take a more active role in their health and wellbeing. She has introduced sport and fitness across the curriculum and runs boxercise sessions for learners.

Highly Commended – Weelsby View Staff Team (Residential Care)

The award was presented by Linkage Trustee Azad Najmaldin (second from right).

The team developed a sensory room at our Weelsby View residential home. They identified the need for a purpose-designed, safe space, where people could relax and take time to understand and manage a range of challenging emotions such as stress and anxiety. This space allows possible negative behaviours to be defused before they have a harmful impact.

Artwork in the sensory room.


Innovation Award

Winner – Karen Webb (Care staff)

Karen being presented her award by Linkage’s Director of Service Development, Quality and Safeguarding, Rex Richardson.

Karen won for finding innovative ways to engage clients in health and wellbeing activities. The nomination stated “Karen goes above and beyond to put in place a holistic approach which keeps my daughter fit, healthy and happy with a bright smile.”

Highly Commended – ICDAP Project Team

Dr Tibi Farkas & Greta Kerulo, part of the Autism Research Innovation Centre at the University of Lincoln. Their award is presented by Rex Richardson, Linkage’s Director of Service Development, Quality and Safeguarding (centre).

The ICDAP Project is a partnership between Autism Research Innovation Centre at the University of Lincoln and Linkage Employment Support.

The team have developed the ICDAP, or Individualised Career Development Action Plan, an online career development tool for people with autism and/or learning difficulties and disabilities. As well as recognising each person’s strengths and skills, it helps create workplace strategies which will highlight their full potential.


Volunteer Award

Winner – The Sensory Bus Volunteer team.

Some of the crafty Sensory Bus volunteers being presented their award by Linkage’s Community Fundraiser, Laura Docking.

This team have collectively contributed over 400 hours to Linkage. They make all manner of items which allow the Linkage Sensory Bus and Library to transform themes.


Partnership Award

Winner – Hayley Bentley (Store Manager at Boots in Mablethorpe)

Hayley being presented her award by Linkage’s Chairman of Trustees, Michael Oliver.

Hayley won for:

  • providing exceptional work placements for Linkage clients
  • proactively learning and developing her and her staffs’ understanding of learning disabilities
  • working to break down barriers to diversity and become truly disability friendly
  • and showing the local community that people learning disabilities can be employed and make a valuable contribution in paid employment.


Independence Award

Winner – Helen Fox (Client)

Helen with Linkage’s Director of Care and Independence, Sam Sheppard.

Helen has worked hard to make positive changes to her life. She identified where she needed to make improvements in order to successfully sustain employment, and then showed determination and commitment in making that happen. Helen is now in full time employment and participates in all aspects of her job with positivity, enabling her to achieve her aspiration of furthering her independence.

Highly Commended – Katie Lewis (College learner)

Katie with college staff member, Rachel and Linkage’s Director of Care and Independence, Sam Sheppard.

After waiting patiently for Small Animal Care to enter the curriculum, animal lover Katie has thrown herself into working with the animals. She is now travelling independently to a work placement at a vet’s hospital. She has been described as a role model to other learners after she identified what her dream job was and then worked incredibly hard to make it come true.


Respect Award

Winner – Jose Buckley (College Support Worker)

Jose works with a number of complex learners within the college. Her approach is always respectful, patient and compassionate. She works tirelessly with each learner, listens intently, is respectful of their wishes and promotes inclusion, independence and achievement.

Highly Commended – Jacqui Ward (Dedicated Support at Linkage College)

Jacqui being presented her certificate by College Principal, Martin Shelton.

Jacqui was nominated for the empathy she shows towards all staff and learners. She is described as understanding their pressures or challenges, and turns her hand to any task in order to support people around her.


Honesty Award

Winner – James Bennett (College learner)

James being presented his award by Linkage’s Finance Director, Alison Highet.

James starred in a short film which explored how living with anxiety makes him feel. He created this video with Fixers, an organisation which encourages young people to use their past to fix the future. By being as honest as he was James is helping change people’s understanding of anxiety.

Highly Commended – James Bell (Client)

A surprised and thrilled James, being presented his certificate by Alison Highet, Linkage’s Finance Director.

In his role as member of the Lincolnshire Disability Partnership James articulates his views on learning disability issues in a respectful and honest manner. He portrays the LD community is a positive light and speaks up for people in similar situations.


Teamwork Award

Winner – Adult Skills 

Adult Skills represented by Angela Freebie-Fisher (Performing Arts Activity Leader), Chris Teesdale (Adult Skills Manager), Charlotte Hampson (Client and the Director’s Assistant on the show), Jordan Eaton (Performing Arts Activity Leader).

Adult Skills for the amazing teamwork involved in the fantastic It’s A Showstopper Show. The show was a big production which brought together over 100 the clients from all four Adult Skills sites in an entertainment extravaganza which dazzled and wowed the audience.  It was a fantastic showcase of the work Linkage do in terms of what can be achieved by people with learning disabilities, how Linkage staff are genuinely invested in the clients and what can be achieved when everyone pulls together.

As the show preparation was going on, the team were also subjected to a Lincolnshire County Council Inspection. The whole team pulled together to ensure that LCC recommendations were completed without impacting too much on the clients’ day-to-day activities and work on the show. They work early mornings, late evenings and at weekends to limit disruptions and to make sure that those participating in ‘It’s a Showstopper’ had an exceptional experience and their moment to shine.

Highly commended – The Ferriby Lane team (Residential Care)

The Ferriby Lane staff

Despite facing a challenging year due to changes within the client group at the house, the staff team came together to make a positive change and enrich the lives of the people living at the house.










Staff utilised their individual skills to contribute to a project which saw the garden undergo a makeover and the old shed be transformed beyond all recognition into a wonderful sensory room. The team sourced items from local business for free, planned, designed and painted the room themselves, and worked with the clients to create an amazing, relaxing space for all to use.


CEO Award

This award recognises a staff member or team who has made a positive contribution to Linkage.

Winner – Luke Griffin

Luke with Linkage CEO, Valerie Waby

ICT Technician Luke was nominated for his positive attitude, approachable demeanour and commitment to his job and the people around him. The nomination said:

“Luke is always helpful no matter how many times you approach him with any ICT problem or request, even if it’s a ridiculously stupid user error. He never complains and is always polite, professional, cheerful and calm with staff and students. Nothing is ever too much trouble for him, regardless of whether the task will make his life more difficult. His support means you can get on with your work more efficiently.”


George Bateman Award

This award celebrates an individual client or learner who has made an outstanding contribution to Linkage life.

Winner – Jodi Shuttleworth

Jodi with his mentor at Sainsbury’s, Cathy Bailey.

Jodi has been with Linkage for many years. He has overcome personal challenges and achieved long term employment, independent travel and independent living. Great work ethic, determination and desire to be more independent have seen him maintain paid work at Sainsbury’s for over 25 years. Jodi’s success story has inspired many of our clients and staff to continue and succeed in their chosen pathways.

Well done to all of the nominees and winners. You inspire us to replicate these accomplishments elsewhere.


I have had a fantastic time at Linkage - 10/10
Simon, Student
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