Minstead Trust's annual awards have celebrated the remarkable achievements of people with learning disabilities.

Minstead Trust’s celebration event saw staff and volunteers join award nominees and their families and friends at Hanger Farm Arts Centre in Totton.

In total more than 100 people cheered on winners across five categories:

  • Work skills
  • Life skills
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Romsey Rotary Club Achiever Award
  • Jenna Dixon Extraordinary Achiever Award.

The categories reflect the Hampshire-based charity’s work supporting more than 200 people with learning disabilities to develop skills that allow them to gain greater independence and lead fulfilled lives.

The Trust also runs Furzey Gardens and Minstead Lodge conference centre in Minstead and Hanger Farm Arts Centre in Totton, where supported trainees learn skills through work placements.

The award ceremony begun with a message from the charity’s Patron Professor Joy Carter, vice-chancellor of Winchester University and included a video of the year’s achievements before the awards were presented by Ambassador and Founder of Minstead Trust Rev Tim Selwood.

Winners included Lorraine, who attends Minstead Trust’s day opportunities service in Portsmouth. She won the health and wellbeing award for increasing her confidence to join in with exercise, and said: ‘I was very proud of myself and my achievements, I felt very brave. It was lovely looking at this experience in my life. What do I have to do to win the shield next year?’

Royce works in the woodwork workshop at the Trust’s day opportunities service in the New Forest. He won the work skills award for developing greater independence through his pyrography skills, the art of decorating wood through burn marks. Royce said: ‘I won this award for my work skills. It felt good to get an award because I won something. It is now in my front room and I now want to continue doing well at woodwork.’

Vicky works in hospitality at Minstead Lodge and was a runner up in the work skills award for her high levels of customer service. She said: ‘I am proud of myself, I have never had an award before in my life. I’m going to continue doing what I do at the moment because I enjoy my work experience at the Trust.’

Madeleine Durie, Minstead Trust Chief Executive, said: ‘It was wonderful that so many people could come together to celebrate all that we have achieved over the last year. Acquiring Hanger Farm Arts Centre, opening two new supported living homes and setting up our pioneering Step Up For Work programme have been just some of the highlights.

‘The awards show what a positive difference our work is making to people with learning disabilities, helping them live more independent and fulfilled lives. We couldn’t do it without the support of our volunteers, donors and staff, so this was the perfect occasion to thank them too.’

Minstead Trust relies on voluntary donations to continue its work supporting people with learning disabilities. To find out more and support the charity visit www.minsteadtrust.org.uk