Westwood Day Nursery wins National Autism Award
There was cause for celebration at Westwood Day Nursery in Coventry as the highly-trained team won a prestigious accolade at the National Autistic Society’s Professionals Awards at a ceremony in Birmingham.
The Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ setting on Westwood Business Park was named ‘Inspirational Education Provision’ in the ‘Primary and Younger’ category for staff’s dedication to the autistic children in their care.
After being nominated by a delighted parent whose child attended the nursery, and credited the Westwood team for “totally transforming” her autistic daughter, the colleagues were presented with the award by hosts; Jane Asher and Carly Jones MBE who handed out a total of 13 trophies.
A panel of judges, who described the nomination as “passionate” and an example of best practice and commitment, praised staff’s teamwork, willingness to learn and eagerness to find solutions to “any problem”.
At Westwood, several forms of therapy are used to help autistic children including portage and ABA, as well as specialised sensory resources, the use of apps and games, one to one care and bespoke training for practitioners.
Westwood were shortlisted by an independent panel of autism specialists, looking for high standards of innovation, creativity, impact and sustainability. By celebrating these achievements, the National Autistic Society hopes to increase public understanding of autism and inspire other organisations.
There are currently around 70,000 autistic adults and children in the UK who find difficulties with social interaction and communication, as well as experiencing feelings of anxiety in day-to-day situations.
Carol Povey, Director of the National Autistic Society’s Centre for Autism, said;
“A lot of our work is focused on campaigning for better support and services and highlighting the huge inequalities autistic people and their families continue to face. As part of this, it’s also important to recognise the talented and passionate people who are making a difference right now – across so many sectors, from education, to employment and social care.”
Former Westwood Day Nursery Manager, Martina Reidy, who oversaw the introduction of specialised autism care at the setting and is now managing a sister nursery, explained;
“We are so delighted to be recognised for our commitment to providing all of the children in our care with the best start in life, and to be nominated by one of our parents is a testament to the work we are doing. This has been a learning curve for everybody involved, but to know our efforts are making such a positive impact is incredible and inspires us to continue.”