Care Heroes Awards: Care or Support worker of the Year

In our final update on the winners and finalists of our 2020 Care Heroes awards, this week it’s the big one – Care or Support Worker of the Year. This award recognises any care or support worker who has embodied the group’s values and behaviours in every aspect of their work. We’d also like to say a huge thank you to our guest judge for this category, Jane Townson, CEO of the UK Home Care Association.

Winner: Nicky Jennings – Surrey SCP, Redhill

In nominating Nicky, her manager, Alison Phillips told us, “Nicky has worked for Surrey SCP almost three and a half years and is the most exceptional care worker that any family member would want looking after their parents.  She demonstrates excellent practices and follows our policies and procedures exactly.”

Alison continued, “Nicky is one of two senior care workers in her area of work and I can honestly say that it runs like clockwork with everything in order. Nicky ensures there are never any events such as missed medications, there is never a missed visit and there are never any complaints about her work. Nicky is one of the most reliable members of the team, and her attendance, punctuality and commitment to delivering an excellent level of care is something that we should model all care workers on.”

During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, we also found out that Nicky took time each day to go to the local Sainsbury’s at the 7am carers’ slot.  She would shop for all her service users, preventing them from coming to any harm – doing so without being asked and in her own time. During that period nothing was too much for Nicky and it proved just what an outstanding carer she really is.

Alison summarised by telling us that “In times of trouble, Nicky can be relied on to step up and make the difference. We would be lost without Nicky and so would her service users.”

In choosing the winner, Jane Townson spoke with the daughter of two of Nicky’s clients, who repeatedly commented, “We don’t know what we’d do without her”. We don’t know what we’d do without you either Nicky, congratulations on being our well-deserved winner.

Congratulations to our finalists

A huge well done to our other finalists this year – Heather Jasper at Abacare in Bangor and Bisi Jinadu from the London Care team at the Pullen Day Centre.

Heather has worked for Abacare since 2016, and embodies the group’s values and behaviours in every aspect – being a mentor and shadow support during her time with us. Heather even committed to supporting new staff at the branch, despite her own daughter and husband being diagnosed with cancer at the same time.

Heather has continued to work through their treatment, and has never once taken a day off sick. We’re told that Heather shows great empathy and compassion even when she is having the toughest of times in her own personal life, greeting everyone with a smile – you would never know the personal issues she is battling.

When nominating Bisi, Maria Gerardo said that, “Bisi is an extremely hard working team member, she always goes above and beyond with our clients – even visiting them during lockdown after our day centre closed. If any of our clients had a birthday in lockdown, she would bring them cake and cards and continues to do this as we still haven’t re-opened our centre.”

During the pandemic, Bisi also made time to ensure that her clients could stay safe and well indoors, buying shopping each week to help those shielding or still unable to get out. We even had student volunteers who have written letters to our elderly clients, and Bisi has not failed to make sure these are delivered – even if she has to drop it to our clients’ homes herself. Above all, Bisi has gone out of her way to make sure that her none of clients have missed-out as a result of COVID-19.

As expected, this was a particularly tricky award to judge. Jane even commented, “I’m sure that you can see my problem. How on earth does one choose between these three exceptional care workers?” You are all truly worthy finalists, and represent the very best of everything we aspire to do at City & County.

That’s all for our worthy 2020 award winners and finalists, but we look forward to updating you on our exciting 2021 Care Heroes Awards soon.

Mental Health Awareness Week 10th – 16th May

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place this week, and this year’s theme is nature.

The Mental Health Foundation started the annual event 21 years ago with the aim of getting people to have conversations about mental health and the things in our daily lives that affect it.

Last week we shared with you some tips and resources to help you connect with nature, which are still available. Why not use the Nature Journal here to help you document how you feel about nature and your mental health or click here for top tips on connecting with nature?

Start a conversation about Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Week is a chance for every one of us to think about our own mental health and to talk about any aspect of mental health, regardless of the theme.

Mental Health Matters have specially recorded a short video for us to help create an awareness of mental health – covering the signs, symptoms and causes of mental ill health and support techniques available.

Why not:

  • Take some time out of your day
  • Reflect on what mental health means to you and your own state of mental health, and;
  • Start a conversation with your friends, family or colleagues about mental health

Mental Health Matters is a national charity with over 35 years of experience in delivering high-quality mental health and social care services. They support more than 15,500 people every month to access treatment and achieve their recovery goals. Visit their website here for helpful resources and information.

Recognising ten years’ service for dedicated Hilday

Danielle Russell, Branch Manager for Careline Homecare, wanted to pass on her appreciation for a member of the Berwick upon Tweed team – Hilday Drysdale. April marked ten years of dedicated service for Hilday in the branch, and during that time she has made a huge impact on both her colleagues and service users.

Danielle told us, “Over the years Hilday has courageously and faithfully been dedicated to providing exceptional care to her service users, always going above and beyond putting herself at risk on many occasions. As she works within the rural areas, there have been many times when she has battled through snow and ice, torrential rains and high winds to make sure that her service users where safe and well.”

Danielle continued, “Hilday is highly respected by her service users and all of her colleagues. We would like to offer a huge thank you to Hilday and send out gratitude for her dedication.”

Thank you for your commitment to your service users and colleagues Hilday. You sound like an absolute superstar for the Careline Homecare team.

Appreciation for the Jackson Gardens team

Finally, Richard Wheatley, Regional Manager – North West, has asked us to share his appreciation for the Comfort Call team at the new Jackson Gardens Extra Care scheme in Knowsley.

Richard told us, “Louise Hogan, Registered Manager, has been working hard with her care team on implementing Jackson Gardens. I have been to meet the care team this morning and it is great to see how passionate the team are in providing good quality care to service users.”

Thank you Louise and everyone involved for your hard work in getting the scheme up and running.