Jenny Ashford, Senior Carer at Norfolk Lodge Care Home in Hunstanton, Norfolk, has won a national social care hero award in recognition of her hard work.
The award has been made this week by Support Social Care Heroes (SSCH), an organisation which aims to preserve, protect and improve the health and wellbeing of those providing social care.
SSCH launched the monthly award programme this year to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the 1.54m people working in social care in the UK. Jenny, who was nominated for February 2022, is the second award winner.
Jenny was nominated by colleagues who said:
“Jenny works as a senior carer and she tirelessly gives 110% in everything that she does. She’s also a wellbeing champion for the staff helping and being there for them mentally during these tough times. Jenny goes above and beyond making sure all the residents and staff are well looked after. Jenny is passionate, caring, positive and a trusting member of staff. Always looking to upskill, whilst encouraging progression in others too. Thank you Jenny. From all of us at Norfolk Lodge Care Home.”
On hearing she had won the award Jenny said:
“I am absolutely overwhelmed by winning the social care hero award, I honestly didn’t expect it. It feels great to be recognised for all the hard work that carers do. This is such a great award. I wouldn’t be the carer I am today without the continued support of my manager Leah. She has pushed me to get to where I am today and I’m so thankful for her support.”
Jenny will receive a £50 voucher for the grocery store of her choice, a box of chocolates, certificate, a SSCH hoody and Norfolk Lodge Care Home will receive a bunch of flowers. The prizes have been sponsored by VAT Solutions.
Jenny’s manager Leah Guy said:
“The team and I are absolutely thrilled for Jenny. She truly deserves this recognition. Jenny is the definition of a carer and is amazing at what she does!”
The social care workforce is often overlooked yet they keep the most vulnerable people in our society safe and well. It is hoped that SSCH will receive significant support following research which found that the overwhelming majority of the public feel that social care staff are undervalued (81%) and underpaid (80%). The monthly care hero awards have been created to show that care workers are appreciated.
Nicola Richards, Founder of Support Social Care Heroes, explained the thinking behind the idea:
“Social care staff often do not get the recognition that they deserve despite being valued by their managers and employers.
“Many care homes already have ‘employee of the month’ schemes and we really felt we should do something to bring all these nominations together from around the country to celebrate all our social care heroes and the amazing work they do.
“The pandemic has brought social care colleagues across the country together as we have supported each other like never before. I hope these awards will provide a positive boost to carers, managers and the wider care home teams.
“These awards are the first step in our long-term plans to ensure those who need care, and those caring for them, are valued by all in society.
“Our country’s social care heroes have been on the front line and in the headlines for almost two years and this new initiative will help show them that they are valued and recognise the work they do.”
Social care employers are encouraged to nominate their staff for a care home hero award (employee of the month). Taking part has been made simple and easy: post a photo of your employee of the month and which care home you represent, to social media, with the hashtag #SocialCareHeroAwards and tag Support Social Care Heroes page. Tell us in 160 characters why the person is a social care hero.
All nominations will be curated by the Support Social Care Heroes team and on the last Monday of each month a winner will be chosen at random.
Anyone who wishes to donate to Support Social Care Heroes can do so by visiting: www.ssch.info.