The Carer’s Newest Unsung Hero is…

…Debbie Day!

Once again, it was a very difficult task for the team here at The Carer to pick a winner of our Unsung Hero competition. Christmas is a wonderful time of year for families but it also involves dedicated staff in the adult social care sector working during the festive period. So we here at The Carer were delighted to spread a little ‘Christmas Cheer’.

In an industry which often finds itself under the most intense scrutiny, we celebrate those hard-working people who go that extra mile, often in emotive, pressurised and challenging circumstances. We were absolutely overwhelmed with the response to our latest Unsung Hero competition – an accolade we have been delighted and proud to award these past few years. No-frills glitz or glamour, simply a small gesture on our part, recognising the hard work, compassion, commitment and dedication those working in the industry possess!

So here at The Carer are delighted to announce that The Christmas 2019 Carer Unsung Hero is Debbie Day, end of life lead at Cedars Care Home, which is part of the Canford Healthcare Group in Southend-on-Sea.

Spokesperson Vicky Cronton said “We’re immensely proud of Debbie who won The Palliative Care/End of Life Award at the 2019 Great East of England Care Awards – for the second time! This difficult and responsible role involves the planning and co-ordination of end-of-life-care, ensuring that residents’ final wishes are upheld, supporting their families and communicating with medical professionals. Debbie has been instrumental in Cedars Care Home being accredited as part of the National Gold Standards Framework, which sets out the required standard of care for people nearing the end of their life. In the judges’ view, Debbie “demonstrated real person-centred care, putting her service users’ wishes first. She is kind, caring and compassionate and gives over and beyond in her role. We all need a Debbie!!”

Worthy winner Debbie can now look forward to a wonderful two-night break for two in a selection of luxury hotels throughout the UK!

Apologies once again for taking so long to announce a winner, picking a winner seems to get harder and harder!!

So much so that we decided to include two runner up prizes of £50 Marks & Spencer gift vouchers (how we wish it could be more!)

And, it gives us great pleasure to recognise the hard work of Karen Minteh, a registered manager with Disability Action Yorkshire at 34 Claro Road in Harrowgate:

Ms Karen Minteh (right) of Disability Action Yorkshire.

Chief Executive Jackie Snape says “ The reason I am nominating Karen is that registered managers are very often overlooked for these kind of awards, yet they often (and definitely in Karen’s case) work long hours to ensure that the people in their care have the best possible outcomes in life.34 Claro Road is a happy, dynamic, environment – and this is thanks to Karen. She has not been without her challenges – in common with the rest of the sector staff recruitment has been incredibly difficult over the past two years, this led to a CQC rating of ‘requires improvement’ as at the time of inspection a number of staff were off sick and even the agencies could not provide anyone. As well as making all of the improvements required and doing this to a standard over and above what was expected, Karen has taken the positives from that report and held them up to staff as an accolade to their hard work.”

Abner Saclayan, of Canford Chase Dorset, with Home Manager Charlotte Wilson along with residents June Carpenter and Tom Storey.

Our second runner-up is Abner Saclayan part of the care team at Canford Chase Dorset, which is part of the Colten Care Group. Home manager Charlotte Wilson says: “ Abner has the real gift of love which he regularly demonstrates through his amazing pastoral care. Abner will think nothing of using his rostered days off to accompany residents who have no close family or friends to appointments and events. Abner is a keen musician and sees the benefits of music for our residents. Last year he solely planned and arranged a Staff Christmas Concert for both residents and their families to enjoy. He encouraged some of our frailest ladies and gents to take turns in singing solos which brought many of us to tears. One particular resident, with many complex needs, found himself singing along with a smile on his face despite at times struggling to form a single word.”

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who put forward nominations we had a wonderful response and it was very difficult indeed to pick an outright winner, it may sound tired old cliché but it is not meant to be, when we say, that in our eyes “every nomination was a winner” and we are just sorry we cannot give an award to everybody!

Watch out for further details of our Summer “Unsung Hero” with the same great prize of a luxury break for two people in the choice of hotels throughout the UK!