This photo of children with learning disabilities enjoying a supported holiday break in France was voted the winner of Community Care’s 2013 ‘Inspiring images of social care’ charity calendar competition.
The judging panel – made up of social care leaders from across the sector – said that the photo of young Alex Olliffe’s holiday had a “joy and vibrancy” that captured the power of positive social care support.
Alex’s family has asked that the prize of a £500 charity donation goes to learning disability charity the Brandon Trust. The photo, which was submitted by Ian Callen of supported holiday organisation Go-Provence, will also feature alongside 12 other pictures the judges voted to include in a 2014 charity calendar for social care professionals.
Alex’s mum, Karen, said that she was “very proud” Alex’s photo had won the competition.
“Alex really enjoyed the holiday and it enabled him to do things we just wouldn’t contemplate doing as a family because of his challenging behaviour, but his delight in taking part is obvious from the photos that were taken,” she said.
“It also gave myself, my husband and my daughter some much needed respite and time together, while knowing Alex was also in safe hands and having fun.”
Judges on the panel said that the 79 entries in the competition “really brought home the breadth of work social care professionals do” and admitted it had been a tough decision to pick winners.
Paul Morgan, strategic commissioning manager at Dorset County Council, said: “If we could have a had a calendar for 52 weeks I would have included them all. However, I did vote for the winner because of the impression of genuine warmth that it conveyed – everyone just seemed to be having such a happy time!”
“I can feel the sun, the smell of the sea and hear the laughter in the photo even on this wet, gloomy day in Dorset!” he added.
Sherry Malik, director of children and families for Hounslow council, said it was important that the public got to see “positive images” of social care.
“We only ever come to public notice on the back of poor practice, but every day thousands of social workers support children, families, individuals and communities in fantastic ways. The calendar will celebrate this in a really positive way,” said Malik.