Care Heroes Awards: Service of the Year Award

This week we’re celebrating our Service of the Year Award. New for this year, the Service of the Year Award recognises domiciliary care, Extra Care or complex care branches, as well as agency locations, which have shown an outstanding all-round performance and excellence over the past year.

Winner: HSG, Manchester

Following the joining-together of the former Didsbury and Sale HSG branches, the Manchester team have emerged demonstrating their commitment and dedication to care delivery from the get-go. As a newer member of the City & County family, they not only embraced digitisation across their services, but also started a new contract with Manchester City Council within their first few months.

Despite all the changes, the team – supported area manager Shelly – have continued to maintain high standards of service delivery, even completing an office move from to Trafford in the process. Achieving sustained growth in their services, the Manchester team at HSG have driven the branch forward, adapting quickly to City & County’s policies and procedures.

In nominating the team, their regional Director – Wendy McCall – described HSG Manchester as “an absolute pleasure to work with”.  Wendy was particularly appreciative of the team’s support when they were able to offer staff to assist in other branches in the area.

Our judges commented on their achievements, “care at home is all about delivering a personalised service and this team have done this in abundance. The branch have dealt with challenges and changes without affecting the service delivery.”

Congratulations to our finalists

A huge well done to our other finalists this year – Surrey SCP in Redhill, and the combined HSG and Abacare branch in Wrexham.

The Redhill team were noted for delivering personalised service to every one of its clients – even supplying parcels of toiletries and food to clients when needed. The team’s contributions to the local community were also a highlight before COVID-19 intervened, including organising parties for clients and inviting some to lunch in the café on the aerodrome when it was their birthday. In her nomination for the Redhill team, Sarah Thomas told us, “SCP Surrey is definitely the branch that I would refer my friends and family to if they ever need care for a relative”. Huge praise indeed.

The team in Wrexham have faced it all in what was an incredibly challenging year for the branch. The joining of the HSG and Abacare teams, new processes and digital practices, and – to top it all – North Wales moving in and out of lockdown through the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the difficulties they’ve faced, our judges recognised just well the team had managed to keep focused on delivering care and ensuring their clients’ safety. A branch of true team players – da iawn Wrecsam!

Vaccines and Ramadan

To mark the most holy month in the Islamic calendar, many of our staff will be observing Ramadan and fasting during the day through the coming weeks. As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout overlaps with the observances this year, the NHS and Public Health England have launched a campaign to confirm that people can have COVID-19 vaccinations whilst fasting.

If you or members of your team are fasting and you want to help share the campaign, you can download the posters from the NHS website here.

You can also read more about how COVID-19 testing and vaccinations are viewed in relation to fasting – as well as general advice on minimising the risk of infection during Ramadan – on the British Islamic Medical Association website.

Our advice remains that everyone who is offered a vaccine should take up the offer, subject to individual clinical advice.

EU Settlement Scheme

Don’t forget that the Home Office are urging EU nationals living in the UK to apply for status to live and work in the UK post Brexit. We wanted to remind any of you that are EU nationals, and who haven’t already done applied for settled status, that you have until the 30th June 2021 to make your application.

Any EU national living in the UK is not protected unless they make an online application to the Home Office under the Settlement Scheme by the 30th June 2021. Failing to apply will mean that they may not have a legal right to live and work in this country.

Every EU national and their family will need to make an application before the deadline of 30 June 2021. Applications are free of charge and can be made via the Government website here.

Shelling-out for good causes in Tameside

One of our branch managers, Vicki Kinder, has told us about a, eggs-traordinary fundraising initiative in Tameside. The Careline Homecare and Comfort Call teams in the area set out to raise funds for two fantastic charities – their local hospice, Willow Wood, and the Alzheimer’s Society.

The office staff and regional manager, Jo Brannen, donated chocolate eggs and other Easter-themed goodies for a raffle at the branch. The event raised a massive £400 in total, which the teams split equally between the chosen charities.

Vicki also tells us that – lockdown allowing – the teams are planning to holding a further coffee morning in May to raise some more funds for these great causes. Great work everyone, we’re sure that both organisations hugely appreciated your donations.

Catherine’s going the distance for the MS Society

Finally, Catherine Spence, one of our Regional Trainers in the North East is taking on not just one, but two running events later this year in support of people living with Multiple Sclerosis. Fundraising for the MS Society, the events will fund research, treatment and support for those living with the condition.

Catherine has a personal desire to help, as she has a very close friend who supports her partner to live with Multiple Sclerosis. Catherine told us, “I’m at it again, it’s that time of year on the ‘run-up’ to the famed Great North Run. This year I have increased my challenge to not just completing the Great North Run in a record time, but also to follow this with the full marathon at the Kielder reservoir.”

Catherine continued, “This will be the longest distance I have ever run and I would deeply appreciate any support people would be willing to give.”

You can find out more about Catherine’s cause and support the challenge on her Just Giving page. The Great North Run takes place on 12th September, and the Keilder reservoir marathon is less than a month later on 3rd October.