Care Heroes Awards: Changing Lives Award

This week we’re celebrating our Changing Lives Award. This award recognises care or support workers who have supported a service user to achieve significant change outcomes that have made a dramatic impact on that person’s life.

Winner: Helen Croshaw, Teresa Knight and Silvia Mares – HomeLife Carers

In nominating this terrific trio, their regional manager – Katie Jewell – told us that their 89 year-old service user lives with debilitating dementia. Making his situation even more challenging, he also lives isolated and alone in one of the most rural parts of Devon.

However, since 2017 the dedicated team of Helen, Teresa and Silvia have worked harder and harder to support him as his dementia has worsened. He adores his care workers as they help with every element of his life – from the basics of personal care to helping him choose his own food and clothing – and nothing is too much trouble. With their support he lives as independently as possible.

The service user’s social worker commented on their achievements, “He is one of our most venerable clients, he has no next of kin and wants to remain living in his own home. These care workers have changed his life – he looks completely different from when I first met him. I cannot impress on you that if it was not for your care team’s commitment and care, he would be residing in a care home. Those girls travel miles in all weather conditions every day of the year to keep him safe. There are not enough words to describe how special they are.”

Our judges reflected on the feedback, saying: “Caring for someone with advanced dementia can be a challenge. When social service recognise that our care and support has changed someone’s life we must take pride in what we have done.”

Congratulations to our finalists

A huge well done to our other finalists this year – Clare Shedwick in Tameside and Nadine Menelaou from the London Care East London team.

Clare worked closely with a service user who wasn’t able to be with his wife at the time of passing, and nor could he go to the funeral. Clare’s manager explained to us how she showed great empathy and made sure that he was coping.

Calling the service user daily, Clare helped him to come to terms with his wife’s passing. Clare even arranged to get him a pillow with his wife picture on as well as a balloon that he could write a message on and release this into the sky. Clare said that she has never seen the service user look so happy, knowing that he could finally say his goodbyes to his wife.

Nadine’s service user contacted the branch directly to recommend her – writing that, “She makes me feel safe and loved. As I was going through end of life, my hope was gone and I gave up. I was told I’d be looked after in hospice until my last hour, but Nadine was always reminding me all is going to be fine.”

“It’s through Nadine that I have accepted my current state and being able to be cared for in my own property as I wished. I’ve regained my strengths and she’s helped me to be able to talk about my plan, my wishes and who I would like to be involved in my end of life care. She is always there to encourage me and support me emotionally. Thank you for giving me Nadine.”

A huge thank you to each and every one of our winners and finalists. You’ve each made a huge impact on the lives of these most vulnerable service users.

Woolly wildlife in Wigan

Janice Barber, one of our Sagecare Branch Managers, wrote in this week to recognise Caroline Unsworth – a care worker working in Wigan. Caroline has kindly knitted two care bears for the local children’s hospital in collaboration with care providers on the Wigan contract.

Janice told us, “The wool was used from a lovely lady whose passion was knitting and had bags on wool she wanted to donate to a good cause at the end of her life. She wanted it to be put to good use, so the providers joined together and handed out bags of wool to our knitters – who each came up with a care bear idea,”

Caroline’s creations are Ali the Unicorn and Leo the lion, who were named by her daughter. The two colourful characters will be judged alongside the other entries by Wigan council.

Janice said, “We are super grateful that Caroline wanted to be a part of the competition and we would like to wish her good luck in from all of us at the Wigan branch!”

Best of luck Caroline – they look like clear winners to us!

Celebrating Purple Day at ICCM

On Friday 26th March it was Purple Day, an international event and an opportunity to get everyone talking about Epilepsy – raising both awareness of the condition and vital funds.

Epilepsy is a condition that affects the brain and is one of the most common serious neurological conditions in the world. It affects around 600,000 people in the UK, meaning that almost 1 in 100 people in the UK have epilepsy. Around 87 people are diagnosed with epilepsy in the UK every day.

Epilepsy can start at any age and there are many different types. Some types of epilepsy last for a limited time and the person eventually stops having seizures. But for many people epilepsy is a life-long condition.

One of ICCM’s clients had spent the week marking the occasion at home, and the care workers have supported the clients on person-centred Sensory Adventure focusing on sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.

ICCM office staff and managers were also asked to wear something purple on Friday, please see below some of the pictures of some of our clients, care workers,  management team and office staff.

The tremendous care team have embraced the theme with great gusto. Sporting wigs and T-shirts on shift, they raised a rather nifty £50 for the charity ‘Young Epilepsy’ with a special ‘Guess The Purple Item’ fundraising card.

A huge well done to everyone involved, and such a fantastic cause that’s close to so many of those who you all support.

Can you outdo Zach’s hairdo?

Our IT Estates Manager, Zach Papagno, contacted us this week to show off his impressive lockdown locks. The last 12 months have seen r

estrictions on haircuts and other services across the county, and our Zach has definitely undergone a tremendous transformation waiting for them to reopen.

This got us thinking, who at City & County has undergone the biggest visual makeover during the pandemic? We need to know:

Can you beat Zach’s brilliant bouffant?

Have you been building a buff bod?

Or, is your beard beyond besting?

If you think that you’re borderline unrecognisable because of lockdown, then let us know. Send your before and after pictures to by Friday 7th May and we’ll put your transformations to a vote to find out champion.

There could even be a prize for our ultimate winner…