Eden Futures launches new apprentice support worker scheme

A new scheme offering young people the opportunity to become health and social care Apprentice Support Workers has been launched by Eden Futures.

Launched during National Apprenticeship Week 2020, Eden Futures is hoping to attract 16-18-year olds in Stafford, Telford, Nottingham, Coventry and Nuneaton to apply.

The scheme, which is supported by provider Lifetime Training, offers on the job training to the five selected applicants, whilst studying for a nationally recognised formal qualification.

Shelley Bloom, Head of HR at Eden Futures, says:

“Support Workers play a crucial role in our business to help our service users live their lives. Our apprentices will work as part of the team and use their training to support those who cannot live fully independent lives at this time. Helping them reach their fullest potential and understand the choices available to them. Whether it’s providing cooking skills and recipe ideas, shopping and budgeting or socialising like planning a trip to the cinema or a holiday.

“This is an exciting opportunity for young people to look beyond traditional routes into employment and explore the diversity of career options available to them through apprenticeships and learn while they earn.”

Mikey Weaver has just qualified from Eden Futures’ apprentice scheme. He’s a highly valued member of the Telford service team working at Pear Tree Apartments. His energy, ideas and ability won him the company’s Apprentice of the Year award in 2019.

Commenting about the scheme, Mikey said:

“I didn’t have any experience of health and social care when I joined as an apprentice but training is very thorough and I’m supported by a great team in Telford and at head office. Working has proved invaluable whilst studying because it gives you real life situations and experiences to relate to all the time which you can’t learn in a classroom.”

Eden Futures looks ahead to a busy 2020

Eden Futures established seven new and expanded developments during 2019, increasing the care and support it provides to 650 service users across 167 sites.

The investment in accommodation in Derbyshire, Warrington, Chorley, Nottinghamshire, Scunthorpe and Nottingham City helped the company grow its service user base by 16% and is predicted to drive company growth by 20% this financial year.

Eden Futures is a leading specialist provider of support and enablement for adults with learning disabilities, mental ill-health and autism – and operates primarily across the Midlands and the North of England.

Looking ahead to this year Dawn Berry, chief executive officer, comments:

“We’ll continue to work with developers and registered housing providers this year to develop new services. Our plans already include expansion into Hull and adding complementary sites in Nottingham, Stoke and Blackpool in the first quarter.

“This sustained investment is really important so that people with learning disabilities, mental health and autism can live in appropriate settings and receive the care and support they need in the community, without having to be admitted into hospital.

“Despite this positive progress we still need a greater pipeline and supply of specialist housing for the people we care for. We continue to work closely with the NHS, regulators and social care providers in 2020 to achieve this and reduce the number of people detained in unsuitable accommodation.

“Our biggest wish for the new decade is more investment by the government for specialist social care providers to support this growing demand.”

Eden Futures appoints new Group Financial Controller

Eden Futures has appointed Zofeen Tiwari as Group Financial Controller.

With an Accounting and Finance degree and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Kent, Zofeen qualified as Chartered Accountant twelve years ago while working as an Auditor at Baker Tilly. She brings a wealth of experience in the finance industry to her new role and has held various positions in organisations ranging from Sainsbury’s PLC to small private equity owned businesses.

In her role at Eden Futures, Zofeen leads all aspects of finance, reporting to Chief Financial Officer Andy Dean, and is based at the company’s Newark HQ.

Commenting on her appointment, Zofeen said: “I’m delighted to have been welcomed into the Eden Futures team. Having temped with a homeless charity after university, I have a huge amount of respect for the care sector and the work it does to improve the lives of those who are in need. I feel privileged that Eden Futures has allowed me to come full circle – giving me the opportunity to really make a difference to people’s lives through my work.”

Eden Futures Chief Financial Officer, Andy Dean, adds: “Zofeen is highly experienced and evidently very passionate about helping others. Our employees are at the heart of everything we do, so it’s brilliant to be able to work with talented professionals in their field like Zofeen who can help us develop and improve our services across the country.”

The Eden Futures team, which is 1200-strong, provides care and support to 650 service users – ensuring they’re able to live independently in the community while occupying shared houses, sole apartments and specialist bungalows.

Eden appoints new Head of HR

Eden Futures appoints Shelley Bloom as its new head of human resources. With over 20 years of HR experience under her belt, Shelley has held senior roles within the profession across a wide range of sectors – including engineering, manufacturing, printing and now health and social care.

In her role, Shelley leads on all aspects of human resources. She’ll revolutionise the Eden Futures HR platform by ensuring that its people agenda is fully aligned to support its organisational strategy, vision and values.

Commenting on her appointment, Shelley said: “I’m thrilled to be part of the team at Eden Futures. Health and social care play such vital roles in society. I’m excited to be taking on a new challenge and privileged to be in a position which will allow me to make a real difference to peoples’ lives.”

CEO, Dawn Berry, added: “We welcome Shelley to our team. I have no doubt that she’ll use her knowledge and expertise to help Eden Futures to continue to thrive.

“Our employees are at the heart of everything we do, so it is always brilliant to be able to work with talented professionals who can help us develop and improve our services across the country.”

Shelley Bloom is the Head of Human Resources for Eden Futures

Awards for the pride of Eden Futures

Eden Futures announces the winners of this year’s employee Excellence Awards.

With 300 nominees there were 30 finalists and 14 awards presented at the event, which recognised the talent, hard work and determination of the team.  This year’s ceremony saw two new awards introduced; Eden Future Values and Life Changer.

The 2019 winners are:

  • Bash Zaffar – Making a Difference Award
  • Alyeshia Chocholko – Ambassador Award
  • Lee Severns – Extra Mile Award
  • Kevin Handley – Best Practice Autism Award
  • Helen Lee – Behind the Scenes Award
  • Debbie Jagger – Best Newcomer
  • Mansfield Team- Positive Behaviour Support Award
  • Warwick and Coventry Services – Most Improved Service Award
  • Michael Weaver – Apprentice of the Year Award
  • Bowbridge Road – Life Changer Award
  • Holly Goldie – Support Worker of the Year Award
  • Katie Pridmore – Inspiring Leader Award
  • Chorley Complex Team – Eden Futures Values Award
  • Beamish Court Ollerton – Best Service Award

Dawn Berry, CEO, said: “It’s a privilege to bestow our Excellence Awards on our top performing staff. I’d like to thank everyone at Eden Futures for their tireless determination in driving positive change over the past twelve months.

“As an organisation, our visions and values are born through the dedication and commitment of our employees, who share a strong quality-service ethos. It is our mission to provide bespoke individual support to help people with learning disabilities and mental illnesses live more independent lives, and the Excellence Awards offer us the perfect opportunity to give our staff the recognition they truly deserve.”


Pix: Shaun Flannery/shaunflanneryphotography.com

Fishing helps to boost young man’s mental health

An individual supported by Eden Futures is using the power of fishing to boost his health and wellbeing.

Nigel has been supported for over four years, and after losing his father suddenly, the team wanted to help him cope with the loss. His love of fishing proved to be a great way to do this, boosting his confidence and self-esteem.

Fishing can build resilience against ill health providing opportunities for relaxation, relief from stress, improved physical activity and access to natural environments.

After catching one of his largest carps recently, which weighed over 20lbs, Nigel said: “That was for my Dad. I know he would be proud of me.”

He added: “I love going fishing with the team at Eden Futures and my worries go away and I can’t wait to get up in the morning to go.

“It reminds me of the good times I have had fishing with my dad.”

Ann-Marie Igoe, Eden Futures Team Manager, commented: “Escaping into green spaces and feeling close and connected to nature boosts feelings of well-being, improving mood and enabling people to find respite from life stresses.

“Nigel is an avid fisherman and since losing his dad fishing has helped him to manage his mental health, so we wanted him to engage in this activity whenever possible.”


Gold for Investment in People

We have recently been awarded Gold accreditation against the Investors in People Standard, demonstrating our commitment to realising the potential of our people.

Maintaining the Gold status accreditation since 2016, we have proven once again our dedication to supporting and developing a happy and healthy workforce.

Investors in People is the international standard for people management, defining what it takes to lead, support and manage people effectively to achieve sustainable results. Underpinning the Standard is the Investors in People framework, reflecting the latest workplace trends, essential skills and effective structures required to outperform in any industry. Working with clients across the globe, Investors in People enables organisations to benchmark against the best in the business on an international scale.

The practitioner report stated that ‘Eden Futures is an inspirational company with a great deal of passion that ensures the organisations mission not only meets but exceeds expectations. The senior leadership team can only be described as passionate, caring and inspirational. There is a very strong commitment to developing every aspect of the organisation in a consistent manner so that the business strategy can be brought to fruition.’

‘The practitioner was inspired by people’s passion around levels of service and support given to their service users and a genuine desire for Eden Futures to succeed. This is supported by encouraging high levels of involvement through working groups and team discussions during group supervisions, something which is highly appreciated by people across the business.’

Paul Devoy, Head of Investors in People, said: “We’d like to congratulate Eden Futures, Investors in People accreditation is the sign of a great employer, and an organisation committed to achieving success by realising the potential of their people. Eden Futures should be extremely proud of their achievement.”

Commenting on the award, Eden Futures CEO Andrew Lennox, said: “We are really proud of our achievements as an employer. Our team is fundamental to our business and to the care and support service we provide to service users. Without the incredible people on our workforce, we would not be able to make a difference to people’s lives each and every day. Well done to everyone at Eden Futures for enabling us to demonstrate our commitment and to have that recognised with this Gold Accreditation against the Investors in People standard.”

If you are interested in joining the Eden Futures team, view our work for us page.


World Autism Awareness Week – ‘Reflecting on my career’

1989 was the year I started working in social care. I can’t say it was a conscious decision, but I can confirm it was the best decision I’ve ever made.

I left school at age 16 and went to college to train as a chef. After qualifying, I quickly realised that I loved sampling food a little bit too much and the hours I worked meant I didn’t have a life outside of the job.

I saw an advert in a local paper, yep, that’s how we did it back then, for a local autism charity who were looking for a catering officer. I knew nothing about autism, but I knew a lot about food! I was invited for an interview so off I went to the local library to get a book about autism, no home internet access for me I’m afraid. Fortunately, the charity was more interested in my catering skills than my knowledge – or lack of – of autism and I was offered the job.

I remember my first day like it was yesterday and the word that springs to mind is WOW! I had no idea how intense the environment would be. I soon settled into my new role and the desire to improve my understanding of autism to help me provide effective support to autistic people for excellent quality of life outcomes penetrated my whole being. That’s not to say there haven’t been challenges over the years. Sometimes I’ve doubted myself and sometimes I’ve got things wrong.

As I sit here reflecting on my career, older and hopefully a little wiser, I want to say thank you.

Thank you to every autistic person I have ever met.

For helping me to understand and letting me know when I didn’t.

For allowing me into your world when you could.

For accepting me and forgiving me when I misinterpreted your communication.

For teaching me to look for alternative ways by being open to finding them.

Most importantly, thank you for enhancing my world.

I feel truly blessed and privileged for the last 30 years.

Celebrating our Apprentices

In celebration of National Apprenticeship Week, Chay, our Eden Apprentice of the Year Award winner, tells us a little bit about himself and his role at Eden Futures.


I started off at Eden having dropped out of University and a bit perplexed on where to go. I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to do, just certain that looking at National Apprenticeship programs was the best starting point for my career.

I’ve always been a bit shy and introverted (definitely one for nights in rather than nights out) but working here has really brought me out of my shell and massively improved my networking skills.



My role involves a heavy amount of project work to help implement new IT systems and policies to improve the work environment for our employees.

I also support all employees with any IT queries they may have, no matter how big or small, every phone call is equally important!



Winning the Apprentice of the Year award meant a great deal to me as it showed how much everyone has appreciated my work and help during my first year at Eden Futures. Hearing the cheers when my name was called out was amazing and showed me how happy people were that I had won. I hope it is just the starting point of a long and prosperous career.

Finalists in Health Investor Awards

We are proud to announce that Eden Futures is a finalist in two categories of the prestigious Health Investor Awards 2019.

Our service will be up against other national healthcare providers in the categories of ‘Specialist Care Provider and ‘Community Support Provider.’

Andrew Lennox, Eden Future’s CEO, commented: “Eden Futures is always striving to go above and beyond in all areas of the care sector and I am immensely proud of the extraordinary work that the team carry out on a daily basis for our service users.

“This nomination is testament to the hard work of each and every one of our team members across the country and is recognition of the high quality service we pride ourselves on delivering.”

As part of the awards process, we will be judged for our excellence in the provision of services within a community setting and for our care for adults with learning disabilities, including mental health.

The awards will take place on June 12 at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, attended by over 1,200 of the sectors leading figures. The event is expected to attract a high volume of advisors, investors and operators within healthcare.




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