Sheringham Avenue is an autism specialist service in Greater London, supporting five young adults with autism or Asperger’s syndrome. They’ve become the second service at Voyage Care to be accredited by the National Autistic Society (NAS) with ‘Advance Status’, the highest quality mark available!
NAS accreditation is the UK’s only autism-specific quality programme supporting those providing services to autistic people. It is an internationally recognised quality standard, and the longest-running accreditation across the globe.
We spoke to Sheringham Avenue’s service manager, Messias Moyo, to find out about their accreditation journey and how they achieved the advanced level status.
Talk us through the accreditation journey and how it came about?
“The advanced level accreditation came up in conversation after our mandatory re-assessment which is done every three years to help maintain the status. It was further encouraged by our Autism Specialism Implementer, Shaji Rajamony. Our journey started in 2017, but we started to look at the advanced level back in November. It was my first time being involved in the accreditation process, but Stephen Dedridge from the NAS guided us the whole way and Shaji Rajamony at group support was so supportive.”
How did your team feel during the assessment?
“Our main driver was to maintain the accreditation. This was encouraged by Shaji at group support, so we knew what we had to do. When we found out about the ‘advanced level’ accreditation, we knew there would be some challenges, but we were determined to put in maximum effort to achieve the accreditation. To show the assessors our amazing work, we evidenced everything, supported by images, videos, case studies, and individual care plans or files. We also provided evidence of our up-to-date staff training, which demonstrated the team are equipped with everything they need to provide high-quality care.”
How did the people we support get involved?
“Firstly, we asked for their consent to ensure they had a choice; some people opted in and some people didn’t. Alongside their consent, we sent an electronic survey which each person had to fill out. This included everything the people we support needed to know about the upcoming assessments and how they might participate. Those involved sat with the assessors to get to know them. This was important for the assessors because it gave them direct insight into how the people we support think and feel. The reports focused on the lived experiences of the people we support, and so hearing the case studies from each individual showcased the positive outcomes they’ve achieved.”
What does it mean to you and the team?
“We’ve put in so much work into the accreditation and making Sheringham Avenue a great place to live, so the only way is up! The high quality of care we provide is appreciated by not only the people we support and their families, but also external regulators, and that’s an amazing feeling! Our team appreciates the recognition and know that their hard work is paying off because the support they deliver is highly valued. It was clear staff understood the needs of the individuals and listened to how they would like to be supported and each person backed this statement up in the questionnaire provided by the assessors.”
Do you have any tips for other services?
“Preparation is key. Giving yourself enough time to prepare and collate evidence in various formats is vital to success. Make sure you give the people we support enough time to absorb the information and give them the choice to participate in assessments. Prepare your teams so they are knowledgeable about the people they support and understand important terminology. Clarity is also key, so when you are gathering your paperwork, ensure every message is clear, up to date, cross referenced, and accurate.”
Learn more about Sheringham Avenue
Our autism specialist service, focuses on supporting individuals to be part of the community, giving them the confidence and skills, they need to lead independent fulfilling lives. To find out more, visit the Sheringham Avenue webpage.