Care Heroes Awards:
Care Team Award
Over the next few weeks, we’re very proud to be sharing details on our incredible Care Heroes finalists and winners. First-up – a new award for this year – the Care Team Award. This award is for any team of front-line care or support workers that has delivered excellent care outcomes through effective teamwork.
Winner: Stevie Baines, Jacob Wilderspin and Richard Brazier – ICCM
The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge effect on our lives. But, for some of our most vulnerable clients, contracting COVID-19 is a life or death situation. For one particular ICCM client, their family had no option but to hide him away from the public and even his care team as a precaution. After two weeks of isolation, and following constant contact from ICCM, this is where Stevie, Jacob and Richard stepped in.
Without hesitation, these three heroes immediately agreed that they would occupy the family’s extra bedroom and live on-site for two weeks at a time. In an uncertain time, and when the nation was panicking, these brave support workers left their families and their own beds at home to live at the client’s home to keep him safe. They even avoided mingling with outers outside of their agreed time with the client to reduce the risk of catching COVID-19.
Our judges told us, “The dedication to move away from your friends, family at home to support your service user and their family is exceptional. Especially to then be locked down at your place of work, without your own creature comforts – that is more than commendable.”
Congratulations Stevie, Jacob and Richard, you truly are Care Heroes.
Congratulations to our finalists
A huge well done also to both of our other finalists this year; the Caterham and Warlingham team at Surrey SCP, and Joanne Schofield and Rene Gapaul at HomeLife Carers in Plymouth.
At Surrey SCP, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, this team stepped-up and displayed amazing team work. As well as coordinating shopping trips for every single service user and their families, the team helped to create a mini food bank – including donating their own food, time and money to help others. Even the local CCG commented on just how wonderful they are.
Joanne and Rene at Homelife Carers have made a huge difference to the life of one particular service user, who was struggling with obesity and a significant skin condition. The service user was facing a move into hospital – his worst nightmare – so, Joanne and Renee undertook wound-dressing training in a successful bid to keep this him in his home. He told us, “Without these two I don’t know where I would be, they are the A-Team. If I had my way they would never leave.”
Our judges had huge difficulty in choosing a winner for this category, stating that, “This was a really tough one to decide on. All three are really worthy and shining examples of thoughtful and selfless care.”
Your views on flu
Public Health England (PHE) recently ran a campaign to encourage care workers in England to get vaccinated against the flu. You can let them know how effective the campaign was to help them improve their communications for next year.
Click here to take their short survey by 5pm on 26th March.
Brilliant Betty marks a big birthday
Joe Jenkins, Branch Manager for Abacare in Ystradgynlais shared photos this week of their service user, Betty. A client of Abacare for the past five years, Betty celebrated turning an impressive 100 this month.
Joe told us, “Betty is a very independent lady and needs minimum support from us”.
Well, it appears that you can still run rings around most of us Betty! Happy birthday and many happy returns.
Saying ‘thank you’ to staff at HSG South Tyneside
Catherine Richardson, our North East Regional Manager, let us know this week about a lovely ‘thank you’ idea at the HSG branch in South Tyneside. A card, memo and keyring has been sent to all of the care workers from the office team to show just how much they are all appreciated.
The branch manager, Claire Gamble, saw the idea in one of our recent emails when Emma Cooper had made similar gifts to thank the team in Cumbria. Claire thought this was a lovely idea and wanted to also show the HSG team her thanks on behalf of the office.
Claire said, “It is only a small token of our appreciation for everything that they have done. It is always nice to know you are appreciated and each and every one of them are.”
What a great way to recognise and show appreciation the team’s hard work Claire. If you’re team has found a unique way to say thanks to our staff recently, then let us know at email@example.com.
Selina’s striding for Sands – the neonatal charity
Selina Nelson, a member of our care team in West Lothian, is tackling a charity challenge for the neo natal charity, Sands. Aiming to jog 50 miles during the month of March, Selina only has 15 miles left to run.
So far, Selina has raised more than £200 to provide emotional support and practical help to anyone affected by the death of a baby. Her colleagues tell us that Selina is very popular with both with other members of the care team and her service users – but she has been very modest about this achievement.
Would you be able to help Selina in supporting this amazing cause? You can donate and find out more about Selina’s progress on her Facebook Fundraisers page.
Making a big impact at Careline Homecare in Sheffield
Michelle Thistlewhite, our Registered Manager in Sheffield, wanted to share this letter that the Careline Homecare team received from the family of a service user. After reading this heart-warming and inspiring message on a particularly stressful day, it reminded everyone at the branch how our services can have a big impact on the families we support.
The service user’s sister wrote to say:
“I was reading the recent letter about services being offered from your company during this difficult and challenging time and it prompted me to want to write to you on behalf of my brother and our family to say a big thank you to your staff for the consistent and reliable service we have received since we first engaged with you all.
“We are very aware of the risks being taken by you all during this pandemic and want you to know how grateful we are and that we don’t take ANY of it for granted. You are each making sacrifices to help us keep our vulnerable family member as safe as possible and I wish we could send you more than our sincere thanks.
“Before you encountered him, my brother had lived very reclusively for over ten years and he had refused all attempts with support for longer than that. In the period before Careline was introduced to us via the Stroke Service I was really struggling because he basically felt life was not worth living and he was sitting waiting to die.
“My brother is no longer the independent, confident and organised person he was before he became ill and suffered several strokes, but he is now definitely capable of feeling happy. This is very important to us all. I feel this massive step forward is in a large part down to the relationships he’s created with your staff. Your workers have been friendly, respectful and supportive with him which in turn has improved his confidence with people generally. That has played a huge part in encouraging him to engage with family and accept our support.
“Whatever happens to Nick in the future we definitely could not have brought him to where he is now without your continued help. He was lost but now he is found.”
Michelle told us, “As the manager, I am extremely proud of how hard the entire team have worked during the pandemic. Receiving this letter was really lovely and even brought a lump to the throat of a couple of us reading it. It shows that the care workers and office staff’s continued dedication to provide a safe and quality service really is worth all the hard work.”
Perfectly put Michelle, we couldn’t agree more. A huge well done to all the team in Sheffield.
Parliament debates social care workers
Finally, did you sign the petition urging the government to consider social care as equally important to NHS? Following over 44,000 signatures, MPs debated the issue in Parliament last Thursday. You can watch the debate here.
Sadly, it’s too late to sign the petition now. But even if you missed out, you can see the results and the government’s response here.