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Team leader's extraordinary contribution to autism services

Karen LutzA dedicated Brandon team leader's outstanding commitment to the people she supports has led to her being shortlisted for Cornwall's regional Care and Support Awards 2018.

Nominated in the category of Inclusive Activities Award, we were thrilled to hear that Karen Lutz has been shortlisted as one of just three finalists.

The nomination recognises Karen's extraordinary contribution to inclusive activities, focussing on the passion, drive, and time she devotes to meeting the needs of people with autism.

Working closely with the National Autistic Society (NAS), she brought the NAS accreditation standards to her team and to other supported living services in Cornwall. Karen also trains Brandon staff so they too can understand and meet the needs of people with autism.

She chairs our Autism Special Interest Group, and works to ensure all training, policies, and working practices are aligned with the very latest techniques.

As well as undertaking an Autism Postgraduate Diploma, in her own time she organises and facilitates sensory events such as open days, discos, and parties.

Karen Lutz tries on a sensory suitAcross our services, wherever people are being supported in bounce therapy, moving to music, enjoying the stimulation of a sensory room, or throwing stones into a stream, the chances are Karen was involved. Her tireless efforts have had a huge impact on the lives of many people.

When asked about the nomination Karen said: "I was really pleased when I heard I was being nominated but I didn't think any more would come of it. To then find out I am in the final three, well I was astounded.

"The sensory events I set up make such a difference to so many people. I feel so passionate about them", she added.

Cornwall Adult Health and Social Care Learning Partnership (CAHSC) hosts the event, which this year will be held at the Eden Project on 9 March. They received a total of 420 nominations across 13 categories, so being shortlisted is an huge achievement in itself! We'd like to say a huge thank you and congratulations to Karen, and wish her all the very best for the event.

Karen's determination to make a difference to the people we support is a wonderful example of the invaluable work done by our staff to enable people with learning disabilities and autism to live free, every day. If you'd like to find out how you can join us, visit the jobs section of our website.