Heidi Neville recognised as social care star
Peer Reviewer Heidi Neville from Leicester who accesses social care support to live independently in the community, has been invited to speak at a prestigious national conference, in recognition of her remarkable success as an ‘expert by experience’.
Heidi has mild mental health concerns and is supported by Community Integrated Care to live independently in the community. In May 2014, she secured a job with our charity as a ‘Peer Reviewer’ – someone who independently inspects the quality of care services using their real-life experience of accessing them.
In her 10 months in post, Heidi has been recognised as an exceptional talent. Her eye for detail and commitment to people who require support has seen her inspire better services across the Midlands and change people’s lives.
The success of Heidi and her fellow Peer Reviewer colleagues has seen them recently shortlisted for three of the social care sector’s top awards – The Laing Buisson Independent Specialist Care Awards, Great British Care Awards and National Learning Disability Awards. This is an unprecedented feat for people who are still within their first year in the social care sector.
Community Integrated Care’s innovative Peer Reviewer project has also attracted national attention from social care sector leaders. Last year, Heidi and her colleagues met Norman Lamb MP, The Minister for Care And Support, as part of a project that looked at the rights that people who access support should receive.
She has also this week been invited to deliver a presentation about her experiences at the high-profile Laing Buisson Social Care Forum in London, which takes place in June and will attract an audience of senior decision makers.
Heidi says, “I’m incredibly passionate about sharing my experience to improve the lives of people who access care and support. As someone who has accessed support and is personally growing with independence, I have a unique perspective on how support should be delivered and can easily relate to people who access care services.”
She continues, “This job has changed my life. It’s given me confidence, helped me meet new people and taught me a lot. It’s such an honour to be shortlisted for awards and to meet influential people, but the biggest pleasure for me is to know that I am making a difference to people’s lives.”
Adam Wells, Regional Director for Community Integrated Care says, “When we were looking to recruit Peer Reviewers, we wanted to find people who were passionate, dedicated and caring; Heidi is this and more. In such a short time, she and her colleagues have changed the lives of hundreds of people.”
He continues, “Her success can be seen in the fact that she has been shortlisted for prestigious awards and asked to speak at high profile conferences at such an early stage in her career – things that normally only the most senior professionals experience as their careers draw to a close! We are rightly proud of everything that she has achieved.”