Friday 1st November saw over 450 of the very best in social care attended a glittering awards ceremony at The East Midlands Conference Centre, for the finals of the Great East Midlands Care Awards, where the category winners were announced.

The Great East Midlands Care Awards are part of the Great British Care Awards, a series of 10 regional awards celebrating excellence across the care sector.  The purpose of the awards is to promote best practice within both home care and care homes sectors, and pay tribute to those individuals who have demonstrated outstanding excellence within their field of work.

Sector support for the events includes Care England, The Department of Health, The National Care Forum, The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and the Alzheimer’s Society, as well as local authorities and other commercial organisations.

There are a range of categories available for nomination, which represent all areas of the care sector; whether it be older people or specialist services and from frontline staff such as care workers and care managers to people who have made an impact in other ways such as training.

Winners of the Great East Midlands Care Awards will go through to the final at Birmingham’s ICC on 20th March 2020.

The winners of the Great East Midlands Care Awards, together with the judge’s comments are detailed below:


Care Employer (Residential)

Witham Valley Care Group

Family run this person focused organisation adopt a hands-on approach to innovative care and support. They invest heavily in training their highly motivated staff team and there is a strong emphasis on working in partnership with families.


Care Employer (Community)

Space Inclusive Team

‘We love what we do’. It was so evident that this ethos comes from the heart when you meet Richard and David. They have a wonderful humility for the work that they do. They have huge focus to provide a hands-on approach to support and develop their teams. Through identifying what they are passionate about they recognise how this will impact so positively on the lives of their service users.


Care Home Worker

Laura Smith, Morton Grange

Wow! Laura is a real asset to social care. Compassionate, empathetic, she embodies person centred care and excels at end of life care.


Home Care Worker

Samantha Smith, Nottingham Community Housing Association

Sam has strived to work within a range of roles to get to where she is now, working hands on with people with mental health. She is so knowledgeable and understand about how to flexibly work with and approach the challenges she faces to offer person centred care.


The Care Newcomer

Lydia Rose Button, Regal Care Trading

Lydia is a newly promoted manager at only 21 years old. She has been a volunteer in care since she was 14 years old and has overcome reading and writing challenges she had been told she would never achieve. She is passionate, committed, warm hearted. An excellent example of youth talent.


The Home Care Newcomer

Richard Ward

Direct Health

A passionate and dedicated individual who puts the service users at the heart of everything. An asset to the sector!


The Care Home Registered Manager

Cheryl Gilderdale, The Orders of St John Care Trust

Cheryl’s passion really shone through with her dedication to the residents and team members. Person centred care is at the heart of the home and residents are empowered to remain a human being.


The Home Care Registered Manager

Jade Thurwood, Home Instead Charnwood

Highly driven, passionate Jade has achieved an ‘outstanding’ rating for the home from CQC. Jade is very organised, with a real focus on person centred care. She ensures the service is well lead, staff are well trained and is an excellent manager.


The Care Home Cook/Chef

Steven Ireland, Country Court Care

Steven’s dedication to providing a la carte standard meals to everyone in care home is exceptional. He gets to know all the residents and understands their cultural and personal benefits, he even tests required diets himself to cook the best meals – he went vegan for a month! He always goes the extra mile and change menu on request.


The Dignity in Care Award

Lemmy Nolan, JHB Ltd

Lemmy has taken her extensive experiences within care and continues to endeavour to show compassion and dignity to each of her residents. She takes extreme pride in nurturing others with the skills and expertise to deliver a holistic approach from her team in relation to dignified end of life care. Her calm direction offers such a positive experience to her clients and their families.


The Dementia Carer Award

Tanya Whelan, Milford House Residential Home

Tanya is a passionate, patient and understanding care leader who has supported people to build muscle strengths back to complete activities which has had a positive impact of their day to day life. She uses positive risk assessing to allow a happy person which are seen to families through photos with smiles.


The Care Home Team Award

Claremont Road Team

The enthusiasm and passion of this team was inspirational! The effort put into fundraising is amazing and enables all service users to go on holiday and fulfil their dreams. The ideas and activities are creative and create a homely environment and the Outstanding CQC rating is fully deserved.


The Home Care Team Award

Derby City Dementia

Making Space

The team are passionate about their job roles and what they want to achieve. Making more people awards of dementia is their goal.


The Care Home Activity Organiser

Tracey Pressley, Horizon Care

An inspiring individual with a passion to promote social inclusion, positive interaction and experiences. “I like to think outside the box to make my residents smile, making their days worthwhile and fun”.


The Ancillary Worker Award

Joy Thompson, Ashmere Derbyshire

Joy has worked in care for 18 years as a care worker, kitchen, cook and now a domestic cleaner. She has exceptional high standards and wants residents to feel like it’s their home. Bi-monthly she invites residents for Sunday lunch. At work she expects her residents to live in 5-star standards and is an outstanding example!


The Workforce Development Award

Ros Heath, Leadermeads

From the service being one of five teaching care homes to developing a culture of emotion led support, Ros has made an exceptional contribution to the development of her workforce.


The Care Innovator Award

John Hughes, Community Integrated Care

John is passionate about changing lives. He works with professional sports clubs and has developed the learning disability support league. An excellent achievement.


The Care Home Frontline Leader Award

Simon Biscoe, Central Bedfordshire Council

Simon is an enthusiastic, caring and passionate care home manager working with adults with learning disabilities. He has changed their day to day lives through supporting them in growing, preparing and selling their food. He uses innovation and enterprise to further enhance education.


The Home Care Co-ordinator Award

Zady Kemoagna

Caremark Broxtowe and Erewash

Zady displayed attributes of being a team player and was very humble towards his team. The knowledge of needing continuity and effective rostering was evident. Well-deserved recognition!


The Putting People First/Personalisation Award

Rachel Whittaker, The Esland Group

Rachel’s passion was inspiring. She used her own personal experience to impact the lives of the young people and children she supports. She advocated for the people she supports even when met with challenges.


The Palliative Care/End of Life Award

Annie Cleare, JHB Ltd

Annie is very passionate about end of life care and ensures family and friends are well supported too. She works hard to keep her skills, training and knowledge up to date to ensure she can cascade this to the team


The Good Nurse Award

Elizabeth Johnson, The Moorlands Nursing Home

A dedicated, compassionate nurse who is committed to making an individual’s last days as comfortable as possible. She goes above and beyond to enable people to die with dignity, supporting families, residents and staff through this process.


The Care Assessor Award

Charlotte Gregory, Direct Health

Charlotte displayed good knowledge and understand of person-centred assessments and care planning and showed passion towards her role. When asked about a moment to be proud of, Charlotte mentioned enabling a gentleman to get into the community which is inspiring!


Care Home Unpaid Carer

Anthony Bradley Ideal Carehomes

In the words of the person who nominated Anthony:


“A dedicated and loving husband to Renelle, Tony has become part of the family at Beaumont Hall. Since Renelle came to live with us Tony has visited his wife every day, he often has lunch with her and helps and chats with other residents. Tony has been given his own name badge and will meet and greet new residents and their families. Tony has recently set up a weekly coffee morning for residents in the home and he intends extending this to the local community. Tony is a huge asset to our staff team and the residents love him. Tony has time for us all, he makes the staff feel valued and cheers us all up, the residents recognise him and relate to him.”


Home Care Unpaid Carer

Madeline Stocks


In the words of the person who nominated Madeline:


“Madeleine took over the care of her sister Andrea (who has Down’s Syndrome) when their mother died around 18 months ago. Andrea is now in her late 40’s and has been in poor health and was cared for her whole life at home with her mother.

Madeleine has battled relentlessly to make sure that Andrea has the care and support she needs. She has turned her own life upside-down and now, after having to jump every hurdle possible (some massive) she has brought Andrea to live with her and at last Andrea is flourishing in her care.

She has spent days and weeks in hospital by Andrea’s side and one time, when Andrea was in a respite unit, Madeleine was so concerned about the way Andrea wasn’t engaging at all with anyone, that she dare not leave her and so she lay down on the bare floor all night, beside her bed. Over this last year or so Andrea has been placed in inappropriate care provision and her health has deteriorated. Madeleine has had to learn about different aspects of care, processes, NHS system, all with very little guidance; the ‘knowledge bank’ that her mother had, was gone. She has challenged providers and she has challenged health diagnoses and she has fought for her sister.

Madeleine is a mother and a grandmother. She had a full-time career which is now on hold, so this has impacted on her financial situation. Her only concern is that Andrea is happy and well-cared for. She has had this issue of ‘quality’ in her head and has not been prepared for Andrea to be given second best because, as she says, her sister deserves better!”


Outstanding Contribution

Kathy Swannell, Clinical and Operations Director, The Oakleaf Group

Kathy Swannell is the Clinical and Operations Director at The Oakleaf Group which provides rehabilitation for adult men following brain injury.

A qualified nurse with 30 years’ experience in health and social care, Kathy has a wealth of specialised knowledge working in the field of acquired brain injury rehabilitation. She is a recognised ambassador in this area and a respected expert public speaker and trainer. Kathy works tirelessly to motivate and support her team and has been instrumental in the group achieving a CQC Outstanding rating across all areas.

Passionate about promoting independence and the very best outcomes for residents, Kathy is a dedicated and innovative care professional who is truly deserving of this award.


Lets celebrate social care and help it get the recognition it deserves