The overjoyed manager of a Sanctuary Care home in Pershore is honoured to have scooped a National Dementia Care Award.
Anita Fletcher, manager at Heathlands Residential Care Home went head to head with four other finalists from homes across the country at an awards ceremony in Brighton recently and was named Best Dementia Care Manager in the prestigious National Dementia Care Awards 2014.
Following her victory an overwhelmed Anita said: “I’m really surprised and honoured to have won the award – it was so unexpected. It’s thanks to my dedicated team and the wonderful residents at Heathlands who make my job so enjoyable – this is really for them. I am truly blessed to have such amazing people around me.”
The judges’ comments from the ceremony read: “Anita wants to impart knowledge and delights in others progressing and succeeding. She seeks out and connects with a wide network of others in the field.”
Sanctuary Care’s managing director Mark McCarthy added: “We are so proud of Anita. She is a shining example of the qualities we look for in every care home manager – kind, caring and compassionate, with her residents and team truly at the heart of everything she does.”
The criteria for the category was for:
‘an outstanding manager or deputy manager who has shown exceptional leadership, care, training and management skills for the benefits of residents and staff’.
Speaking about the nomination Anita, who has managed the Station Road home since March 2012 said: “I was surprised when I found out and cried when I saw the lovely things people had written about me. I feel great that people put their faith in me.
“My passion is supporting our staff to flourish and grow into confident individuals, empowering them to be the best they can be by having kindness at the heart of our care.”
Anita was then moved to tears again when she returned to Heathlands to find that her team had decorated the reception in bunting and balloons with a sign to congratulate her.
Regional manager Anastasia Meredith, who nominated Anita said in her submission: “It is always hard to express this in words but when you walk into Heathlands you ‘feel it’ – it is a happy home and this is because the person leading it is truly dedicated and has a genuine passion for people.”
Supporting the nomination was Jeanie Heap, the wife of Heathlands resident Stuart Heap and her daughter Amanda Rowberry, who described Anita as “a star” for whom “nothing is too much trouble.”
Also at the awards ceremony was Denise Bayliss, a senior carer at Sanctuary Care’s Beechwood Residential Care Home in Upton-upon-Severn, who was a finalist in the Best Dementia Continence Care category.
Denise, who has worked at Beechwood for 12 years, was nominated for the dignified and sensitive way she manages the continence care of residents.
Organising dignity training sessions for colleagues and relatives, she supports residents requiring continence care in a way which the home’s manager Jemma Robinson said places their “dignity, independence and privacy at the forefront”.
Winners were presented with their trophies by comedian Paul Sinha at a high profile Gala Night at the Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel in Brighton, attended by 500 guests.
Now in its fifth year The National Dementia Care Awards is an annual event organised by The Journal of Dementia Care. There are 18 categories altogether, each with up to five finalists.