Wings Nottingham are celebrating this week after Registered Manager Jacob Shelton was named Children’s Home Manager of the Year at the National Children's and Young People's Awards.
The award followed a rigorous assessment process including an initial written and evidenced nomination by Jacob’s managers and a panel interview with judges before a shortlist of 13 was confirmed. A final evaluation, which considered the work Jacob had done with staff, young people and working with others in the sector, resulted in Jacob collecting the award at a ceremony in Birmingham on the 28th of July, cheered on by colleagues from across Kedleston.
Wings Nottingham has 33 boys and girls living and being cared for by Jacob and his team and specialises in supporting children with social, emotional and mental health needs, autism and attachment and trauma challenges. The school was rated Outstanding for its Care by Ofsted in its last inspection.
In his leadership roles at the school, Jacob has created and led initiatives and ways of working which have significantly reduced hospital admissions, negative contact with police, incidents of self-harm and episodes of children going missing from care.
Jacob has embedded training to ensure that the team have skills, strategies and practice in place to meet the needs of children in advance of them joining the school. Ths includes training on supporting children who identify as a different gender, child sexual exploitation, drugs and alcohol use issues and mental health.
Driven by Jacob, this training allows staff to best equipped to work positively with not just the young person affected but to also support the other young people at the school, informing their language and interactions.
“The work we do here has an impact on kids who have never even set foot in Nottingham. Some of the safeguarding work we have done has been recommended by Ofsted to other provisions, who have come to find out more about the way we do things at Wings. That sort of work is hugely satisfying.
“I started as a carer and wanted to a Registered Manager job because I wanted to be in the position to influence change for kids and for staff. As a manager you are only as good as your team and I work with some of the best people in the industry.
“I texted my Mum, who said she will take some credit for raising an amazing young man. My wife was with me as I collected the award. The family are really proud.
“I was surprised to even be nominated. After starting in August 2019, becoming a Dad for the first time the following month, and then seeing Covid hit, it was a busy time and I’m really honoured to have this support and recognition from Kedleston and from the judges for the changes we’ve made to give children an even safer, more supportive and more enjoyable experience as well as a brighter future. The Chief Executive of Kedleston Group congratulated me and though I’m certainly not one for the fuss, the team here have been celebrating.”