Award-Winning Service

Congratulations Sheila!!!

Our wonderful trustee Sheila Cunningham was nominated for a 'Lifetime Achievement Award' by the Directory of Social Change - and she won.


She was presented with her award- a personally crafted and signed cartoon by Grizella (the national cartoonist).  


Well done Sheila and thank you to everyone who voted for her!  


To hear Sheila speak about her nomination on BBC radio and see her receive her award please click the links below:

BT 195 now available for people with learning disabilities


Angie Gwilliam was been chosen as a finalist for Warwickshire Employee of the Year Award as a result of her work to make BT's free directory enquiry service available for people with a learning disability. Angie describes the situation that caused her to get in touch with BT:


"One of the ladies we support who has learning difficulties was in a state of some confusion and distress because she'd received a bill from BT for over £2,100.

When I looked at the bill, I could see that she had called the 118 500 directory enquiries number repeatedly. She had assumed the calls were free and had also been getting put straight through to the numbers she wanted, which pushed the costs up even higher."


Angie wrote to BT explaining the mistake and this led to them realising an unidentified gap in their 195 service. They waived the bill and changed the application form to include eligibility for people with learning disabilities.


At Way Ahead this change is welcome news. Angie said: "This is a great outcome that will hopefully help prevent future similar cases of stress caused by repeat dialling. We're also now raising awareness of 195 amongst our staff so that we can get the message out to all the people we support who may need to use it."

Shirley Martin-Abel with the 'Dignity in Care Award'.

Louise De Bruyne with the 'This time it's personal' award.

Way Ahead Support Services is an award-winning service provider and has won the following awards:


  • Warwickshire Employee of the Year Awards. Employee of the Year Finalist. Angie Gwilliam has been shortlisted as a finalist for the award, for her work with BT to make their 195 free directory enquiry service available for people with learning disabilities.


Simon Stevens CEO NHS England said: "I was heartened to read of these positive steps and applaud your success in this matter. This action will positively affect the lives of many individuals.


  • West Midlands Great British Care Awards 2014 - The Frontline Leaders Award Finalist. Activity Services Manager Angie Gwilliam was a finalist for this award.


  • 'National Award for Dignity' in The Great British Care Awards at the Royal Courts of Justice. Award won by Shirley Martin-Abel.


  • Voice for Care – 'Dignity in Care Award'. For the Growing Together project set up by Shirley Martin-Abel.



The 'Dignity in Care Award' was for the organisation which demonstrated the significance of maximising services using independence and choice whilst respecting and maintaining privacy and dignity at all times.


The inspiration for the 'Growing Together' project came from Shirley Martin-Abel who trained in Horticultural Therapy and Health and Social Care. With the help of the Gap Community Centre the project wanted to develop community gardening facilities by dividing allotments into small parts.


Called Growing Together, the 18 month project made a huge difference to service users’ lives by helping them to make friends, their own decisions and become part of a group of people who really enjoy and value each others company. Their involvement was completely on their own terms with Shirley’s support and the friendship of fellow gardeners.



  • Voice for Care – 'This Time It’s Personal' award. Won by Louise De Bruyne for setting up service user group Doing Our Thing Together (D.O.T.T)

The Growing Together Project.