A behavioural expert whose work inspires adults with learning disabilities to achieve their dreams is celebrating a place in the final of one of Wales’ most prized social care awards.
Lisa Morgan, who has supported adults living with learning disabilities, autism and challenging behaviour for almost 30 years, has been shortlisted for the Promoting Fulfilled Lives category, sponsored by Boots Healthcare, in the Wales Care Awards 2019.
The 51-year-old, from Llandaff North, Cardiff, will now attend a glittering awards ceremony at Cardiff City Hall on Friday, October 18, which will be hosted by tenor and radio presenter Wynne Evans, better known as Gio Compario from the Go Compare TV adverts.
The national awards are organised by care industry champions Care Forum Wales and acknowledge the exceptional work and dedication of those in the care sector.
Lisa, who works as a Performance Coach and Behaviour Consultant on behalf of Dimensions Cymru, has been described by colleagues as a passionate care worker who has enriched and improved the quality of life of those she supports.
The award marks a double celebration for Lisa who was nominated for the Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) award in the National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards earlier this year, in which she was a runner up.
“It is lovely to be nominated again,” said Lisa, who will be bringing her partner Phil Andrews along to the ceremony.
“You don’t do it for the recognition but it is really nice to feel appreciated.
“It’s massively rewarding for me to look back and see how far some people have come. To see how well they’re doing and how engaged they are with the local community and how levels of challenging behaviour have significantly decreased is everything.”
Lisa achieved a certificate in social care at Bridgend College after initially leaving school and went on to become a nanny for 18 months. After this, she began working as a nursing assistant at Ely Hospital in Cardiff working with adults with learning disabilities which saw her complete training to become a registered learning disability nurse over the next three-and-a-half years on behalf of the former South Glamorgan Health Authority.
Her career then took her to the Opportunity Housing Trust where she studied for a masters degree in positive approaches to challenging behaviour at the University of Wales College of Medicine before transferring to Dimensions Cymru, where she has worked for the past 12 years.
Lisa, who was nominated for her award by Russ Kennedy, Managing Director of Dimensions Cymru, now supports some 100 people in Wales, across 26 services, and delivers specialist training to staff.
Russ said: “Lisa stands out as a person who radiates calmness and genuine warmth toward the people we support.
“Her colleagues consistently talk about how much they respect her values, her knowledge and her experience.
“She is key to helping Dimensions Cymru make life better for people with learning disabilities and autism.”
Lisa’s work involves assessing service users and working alongside care staff to develop behaviour support plans as well as introducing positive strategies to improve quality of life.
“For me it’s all about interacting with people. I really enjoy being around people and spending time with them,” she said.
“It’s seeing the small steps and realising a few months down the road where you are now.”
One of Lisa’s highlights has been seeing the development of her service users including a woman who suffers with obsessive behaviour and self-injury who now enjoys hiking and has embarked on music classes.
Mario Kreft MBE, the Chair of Care Forum Wales, said the Wales Care Awards had gone from strength to strength.
He said: “The event is now firmly established as one of the highlights in the Welsh social care calendar.
“The aim is to recognise the unstinting and often remarkable dedication of our unsung heroes and heroines across Wales.
“The care sector is full of wonderful people because it’s not just a job it’s a vocation – these are the people who really do have the X Factor.
“If you don’t recognise the people who do the caring you will never provide the standards that people need and never recognise the value of the people who need the care in society.
“We need to do all we can to raise the profile of the care sector workforce – they deserve to be lauded and applauded.
“It is a pleasure to honour the contribution of all the finalists. Each and every one of them should be very proud of their achievement.”