More than 200 people gathered at Norton Park Hotel in Winchester for the annual award ceremony, which celebrates the very best from amongst the more than 4,600 care workers working across Shaw’s UK facilities.
Among the winners was Irene Cripps, a 38-year-old support worker at the Martlets care home in Littlehampton, West Sussex, who was named Inspirational Carer of the Year.
Irene was recognised for being happy to go beyond her normal duties to support residents, such as taking them on day trips, even on her days off. In one instance, Irene came into work on her day off to take a resident for a walk to the beach to enjoy the sunshine. Later that afternoon, the resident passed away, but had been given her past wish by Irene “to only see the sea one last time.”
Irene said: “I am absolutely thrilled to win this award. I always do everything I can to make sure people are looked after in the best possible way and, while you don’t do this sort of work to win awards, it is nice to know that the time and dedication you put into caring for people is so valued.”
Irene’s colleague at the Martlets, Rachel Staker, 45, took home the award in the Supporting Dementia Category for her work transforming the home’s dementia unit, utilising the latest research to ensure that it provides residents with a happy, stimulating environment.
She said: “For many individuals with dementia, the closest people to them are care workers, so it’s particularly important that we do everything we can to help that person retain their sense of identity and feelings of self-worth.
“I always try to treat a person coping with dementia with kindness and respect, and never forget that they are a unique and valuable human being.”
The Deputy Manager/Team Leader award went to Adam Moreton, who works at the Acquired Brain Injury Unit at Ledbury Community Health and Care Centre. Adam, 29, was recognised for the skill and passion he has shown while working in such a specialised environment.
The Care Supporter award went to Louise Jackson, a laundry assistant who has worked at Victoria House care home in Rushden, Northamptonshire, for more than 20 years. She was singled out for her great rapport with residents and her tireless efforts to ensure their clothes are tidy and residents look and feel their best.
The care team from Surehaven Glasgow, a 17-bed secure hospital in Drumchapel Place, was named Team of the Year for the dedication, skills and expertise it has shown when caring for some of the country’s most difficult patients. There was also a team award for Best Dementia Home, which went to Forest View care home in Burgess Hill, West Sussex.
The day also saw a special award for 77-year-old Eric Mortimore, a resident at Springbank residential home in Bristol. Eric received the inaugural Resident/Relative award for the contribution he makes around the home, helping staff with cleaning duties and looking after elderly residents.
Other winners were selected in categories such as Care Caterer, Central Support, Training Champion and Service Manager, while there was also a keynote speech from Dr David Sheard, founder of Dementia Care Matters.
Jeremy Nixey, chief executive at Shaw healthcare, said: “Our annual Star Awards seek to recognise those individuals and teams across all of the services within Shaw healthcare who have demonstrated excellence in their day-to-day work during the course of the year; people who inspire others and deliver beyond expectations.
“Now in their fifth year, we can rightly be proud of the contribution that our people make to the quality of life of the vulnerable people in our care. We are also proud that nominations for those awards come not only from colleagues but from the people we care for and from their relatives and friends.”
Shaw healthcare is one of the UK’s leading health and social care providers. It provides care to individuals in nursing and residential homes, hospitals, supported living arrangements, extra care schemes and domiciliary care settings.
Its services range from comprehensive care packages through to low level support in the community for older people and adults with physical, sensory or mental health support needs.