The Wilf Ward Family Trust recently hosted an inspiring strategy launch event at York Racecourse on Thursday, April 20th. Over 130 leaders from across Yorkshire gathered to explore their role in transforming the future for the individuals the Trust supports. The event marked the unveiling of a comprehensive five-year plan designed to harness the organisation’s potential and enhance the skills of its people.

Opening the event was Professor Dianne Willcocks CBE, Chair of Trustees at Wilf Ward Family Trust. With her lifelong dedication and fearless advocacy for change, including the care of elders with learning disabilities, Professor Willcocks set the stage for an impactful day ahead.

Under the theme of “Extraordinary People, Extraordinary Lives,” CEO Paul McCay emphasised the importance of continuous change, adaptation, and embracing challenges. He explained that the new strategy emerged from a genuine need to unlock the Trust’s potential and empower its workforce to bridge the gap between the present and their envisioned future.

A notable addition to the event was the presence of guest speaker Paul Spence, whose personal journey following a brain injury brought invaluable insight to the occasion. Paul’s extraordinary determination and resilience led him to establish the P.A.U.L for Brain Recovery Centre in Hull, and he captivated the audience with his inspiring stories of running marathons across various continents and conquering Mount Kilimanjaro. By emphasising the notion that we cannot always predict or prevent changes in the future, but we can learn to embrace their effects for the better, Paul left a lasting impact on the audience. His message resonated with the attendees, encouraging them to embrace change and unlock their true potential.

The core focus of the Wilf Ward Family Trust’s five-year plan was presented by Laura Parker, Director of Operations. The plan revolves around five key work strands:

Financial Fitness: Investing wisely to secure the Trust’s future.

Extraordinary Support: Developing community partnerships for self-reliance.

Our People Promise: Nurturing the talents of our dedicated workforce.

Growth: Expanding our reach and enhancing our reputation.

Digital Transformation: Implementing efficient work practices through technology.

Support Services were also highlighted during the event, with each department outlining their specific priorities. Ellen Moore, representing Complex Care, emphasised the prevention of hospital admissions, reduction of out-of-area placements, and promoting active citizenship. Rachel Morrill, representing Transitional Services, discussed the support provided to young people as they prepare for adulthood and navigate the complexities of the social care system. Jayne Cooper, representing Supported Living, emphasised four key priorities, including independence, technology-enabled care, community links, and digital inclusion.

The event also introduced the People Promise initiative, spearheaded by Amanda Walker, the new Head of People and Culture. Recognising the evolving landscape of work post-COVID, the People Promise aims to attract and retain a highly skilled team in line with Wilf Ward’s future goals. The comprehensive initiative covers various aspects, including health and well-being, rewards and benefits, recruitment and training, and career pathways and leadership development.

To celebrate the unique strengths and talents of their workforce, Wilf Ward organised a workshop on identifying “superskills.” Marie Macdonald, the Organisational Development Consultant, led the session, showcasing the diverse ways in which employees contribute their talents to enhance lives. Moving forward, the Trust aims to assist all colleagues in discovering their superskills, fostering a collaborative environment to successfully execute their strategic plan.

For more information on the Wilf Ward Family Trust’s transformative strategy and initiatives, please visit or contact the team on

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