Raj and Abdul are our Care Heroes!

Held last month at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole, we bring you the stories behind the winners at this year’s Care Heroes Awards.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a care or support worker who has been continuously employed by one of the group’s operating companies for ten years or more and has demonstrated “great commitment to the highest standards of care support”. The judges in this category were CEO, James Thorburn, Regional Director, Lorna Muir, and Head of Complex Care Sally Wheeler and the worthy winner was Raj Wilkinson from  Careline Homecare in Darlington.

Raj began working as a care worker in 1994 and has an exceptional twenty-five years continuous service with Careline Homecare and at the extraordinary age of 83 continues to provide outstanding care.

Care Heroes Awards

Nominating her for the award, Branch Manager, Bronwen Roberts, told us how Raj “also spends a huge amount of time volunteering in her local community … [and] acts as an interpreter in her local day centre and also uses her huge experience and knowledge to run a dementia group, always putting the needs of others before herself.” Browen continued, “[Raj] is a completely selfless person who always puts others first and I am very proud to have her as part of our team.” We couldn’t agree more – well done, Raj!

The last, but by no means the least, of this year’s prizes was for Care or Support Worker of the Year, judged by Managing Director, Caleb Atkins, and Regional Directors, Charlotte Donald, and Wendy McCall. The award recognises “any care or support worker who has embodied the group’s values and behaviours in every aspect of their work.”

Winner Abdul Kargbo (right) arrived one morning at the home of a younger service user with whom he had developed a close working relationship to find the young man collapsed and unresponsive. Despite Abdul’s efforts to resuscitate, the young man sadly died.

Despite this traumatic experience, Abdul found the strength to give evidence at the ensuing coroner’s inquest, an intimidating and emotional experience for anyone. Nevertheless, he came across as calm and knowledgeable, leading the coroner to gain the “overwhelming impression that the carers were of a very high standard”.

Area Manager, Milka Kimani told us that she felt his overall record and his particular conduct in the face of tragedy “requires recognition”. It certainly does and everyone at the Care Heroes Awards was touched by Abdul’s humility in spite of a dreadful ordeal.

Congratulations once again to all our finalists and winners. We hope that their amazing stories inspire you to submit nominations for next year’s awards!

Double ‘good’ for London Care branches

Great news from London Care last week as two of its busiest operating locations received ‘good’ ratings from the Care Quality Commission.

The Holloway office (actually now nearer Finsbury Park) achieved ‘good’ ratings in all but one domains, with inspectors finding “improvements in several areas of the service provision” and remarking in particular on the “new online care planning system [Access Care Planning] which helped staff to provide responsive, individualised and considerate care.”

 

The South London office mirrored Holloway’s reports, also gaining ‘good’ ratings across all but one domain.

Providing home care services at scale in the capital has its own peculiar challenges, but both branches have shown that it is possible to deliver great care through dedication and commitment. Congratulations to managers Elaine Waller and Bunmi Johnson for their continued hard work.

Willow Barns supports ambulance charity

Tenants and staff at Comfort Call’s Willow Barns Extra Care scheme in Stoke-on-Trent had a great charity fundraiser at the end of July.

Manager Sharon Roberts wrote to tell us how the scheme raised nearly £500 for TASC, a young charity which provides support to present and past ambulance staff and their families in time of need.

The charity night featured a singer and a delicious spread along with great raffle prizes and a few games of bingo. All agreed that it was a fun way to raise money for a great cause. Some of the team are pictured below handing over the money raised to TASC.

Volunteers get arty at Pullen Day Centre

Pullen Day Centre was a hub of activity again at the end of July when volunteers supported tenants with arts, crafts and games.

The centre is lucky enough to receive visits from volunteers from transport company BEIS a few times a year, organised in partnership with charity One Westminster. “The clients always have such fun with them,” said Coordinator Maria Gerardo.

The activities on this occasion included potato block printing and quizzes in which clients could win prizes. Clients and volunteers also enjoyed an afternoon tea.

Carol Braves the Shave on This Morning

We told you last week about ICCM’s Carol Henson’s plans to shave her head in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, but even Carol wasn’t expecting to go through with it on live TV! 

Having announced her intentions, Carol was approached by producers from ITV’s This Morning and on Friday, she bravely surrendered herself to the hairdresser’s clippers in front of millions of viewers!

If you missed Carol’s surprisingly calm performance, you can still see it on the ITV website here and donate to Macmillan here.

And Macmillan are not the only beneficiaries. Carol’s hair has been donated to the Little Princess Trust, which makes wigs for children going through chemotherapy. Carol, we bow down to you and your very smooth head!

On top of the world for the WWF

Director of Policy and Communications Max Wurr and his daughter Lana scaled the UK’s highest mountain on Thursday last week in aid of the World Wildlife Fund.

On what turned out to be the only dry day in the West of Scotland last week, Max and Lana, who turned eleven this Sunday, made it up and down the 1345-metre peak of Ben Nevis (right) in around seven hours, enjoying magnificent views across the Highlands.

Lana has already hit her fundraising target of £1000, but if you would still like to sponsor her, your donations would still be very welcome – you can visit her Justgiving page here. Lana sends her sincere thanks to everyone that has supported her so far.

There’s also still time to sponsor Northeast Regional Manager Chris Noble as she runs for Sepsis UK in the Great North Run on 8th September – visit her fundraising page here.