Inspiring Leader 2017 – joint winner Linda Murphy, SMBC

Written by Cassie Simpson on .

Inspiring Leader Linda Murphy SMBCBacons End Day Centre run by Solihull Council (SMBC) provides day care and activities in Chelmsley Wood for adults with learning disabilities.

In recent years there have been big changes to the way these services are delivered, with a move from large day centres to smaller community hubs that are incorporated and involve the local community.

Service Manager Linda Murphy has been at the forefront of this project. 

Photo caption: Linda Murphy (right) from Solihull Council with Helen Kelly, Solihull Together Programme Director

Linda has worked tirelessly with colleagues both within the council and in the local community to source appropriate buildings and arrange for them to be refurbished to meet the needs of service users.

A big challenge was identifying suitable locations for the three new hubs. Service users are already enjoying the two new hubs that are open. Linda explains, “The buildings are more fit for purpose, with improved access and vital facilities for personal care. The service users don’t miss the old site at all as the new hubs are so fantastic!”

The hubs are also now in more suitable locations with better public transport links and access to local amenities. Service users now have a direct community presence, are socialising more and becoming involved in local projects.

The smooth transition has been mainly due to Linda’s hard work and dedication to the project. “A big challenge was organising the movement of the equipment, and sorting transport for parents, carers and service users,” says Linda. “We had to manage anxiety and excitement in equal measure!”

Linda was overwhelmed to be presented with this award, saying, “I don’t like to be in the limelight but it has been nice for the work to be acknowledged as it has been a very challenging project.” The site for the third hub has now been identified and is currently awaiting refurbishment so that the final cohort of service users can be relocated later this year.


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