The Great North Care Awards took place on Friday 14th November and took place at the National Railway Museum in York.  The event was hosted by The Independent Care Group with presenter, BBC Look North’s Harry Gration.

Covering Yorkshire, The Humber and The North East of England these inaugural awards are set to be the care sectors’ premier regional event – aiming to promote best practice within care and paying tribute to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding excellence within their field of work.

The Awards, sponsored by The Royal Bank of Scotland have generated a great deal of interest and support across all areas of the industry.

Mike Coster, Associate Director Healthcare at The Royal Bank of Scotland, comments

“RBS supports a wide range of both Care Home and Home Care businesses across the UK, from local independents through to major national providers of social care.  We are delighted to support the Great North Care Awards, which promote best practice within this increasingly important area of the care industry and celebrate the contribution of individuals working in the care sector.

“RBS has a team of Healthcare Specialists across the UK, who invest substantial time with their customers to fully understand their business.  By working as business partners with companies in the care industry, the Healthcare team at RBS is able to provide advice and support to customers based on many years’ experience of working with successful businesses in the sector.”

There were a total of fourteen award categories representing all aspects of care.  The awards culminated in honouring ‘The Outstanding Contribution to Care Award’ which was presented to an individual who had made a long-term outstanding contribution to social care.


The winners of the Great North Care Awards 2008 are as follows:

The Care Employer Award (sponsored by CHIS) – Clifton St Annes

The judges chose Clifton St Annes because the organisation has adapted outstandingly to the needs of residents, staff and the local community.  The organisation has been able to create a family caring environment where lifelong learning is a reality for staff.


The Care Employer Award (sponsored by The Royal Bank of Scotland) – Woodlands MS Resource & Respite Centre

A very difficult decision, but the judges felt that Woodlands showed commitment to providing an individual person-centred service for guests with diverse and constantly changed needs.  They demonstrated an underlying philosophy of empathy and improvement that is demonstrated consistently throughout.


The Care Home Worker Award – Sherryl Bilton, Warmest Welcome

The judges would have been privileged to have all the finalists in their team.  However Sherryl shone through on the day with her insights into the whole of the caring industry.


The Home Care Worker Award – Mags Davison, Carewatch Care Services

It a vocation not a job and the best one she’s ever had!  Mags bends over backwards to support her service users and gives them the independence they are entitled to. She enjoys training and extending her knowledge but she says the best training is ‘hands on’.


The Care Newcomer Award – Gary Fuller, Exempler Care

The judges choice was a decision from the heart and influenced by Gary’s short time in the care sector.  His 100% commitment to ensuring the best possible experience for the people for whom he cares was evident.  The most rewarding moments in Gary’s role is to hear the words ‘thank you’.


The Care Home Registered Manager Award – Sue Gray-Smith, Rosebury Care Centres

The judges were impressed with the Sue’s grasp of key activities necessary to manager a successful care home.  In particular dedication to training has achieved wide acceptance amongst staff; helping service users enjoy an enhance quality of life.


The Home Care Registered Manager Award – Heather David, Mid Yorkshire Care

Heather’s passion and enthusiasm for raising the profile of care was infectious.  She clearly demonstrated her commitment to deliver a quality service whilst recognising and valuing the crucial role of her team.


The Home Care Worker of a Specialist Service Award – Susanne Lee, North Yorkshire County Council

The judges felt Susanne displayed exceptional initiative and ability in forming and developing a night service, ensuring that older people can continue to live independently and avoid hospital or care home admissions.


The Care Home Nutrition Award – Jason Smith and Sarah Pawson, Threshfields Court

Working in partnership with other health professionals has lead to moving the whole eating experience forward – Threshfields are clearly passionate about how they achieve this.


The Domiciliary Care Team   Award – Home Support Team, City of York

The team were enthusiastic, respected and supported each other.  Full understanding of service users needs means they encourage, motivate, give confidence and enable the service user to develop their own plans.  They could see the team made a difference and it is the best job in the world!


The Ancillary Worker Award – Sharon Jubb, Syndale Care

The winner of the Ancillary Worker Award demonstrated a good understanding of the daily lives of individuals and an ability to transform and enhance their social wellbeing.  Congratulations to Sharon Jubb!


The Care Trainer Award – Leonnie Martin, Ricall Carers

This award went to Leonnie Martin from Ricall Carers for her enthusiasm and drive in championing a diverse range of training and development, all of which focused around the needs of the service user.


The Care Innovator Award – Nina Kaur, Care Unique

The judges were extremely impressed with the simplicity of Nina’s idea to provide a focussed home care service to ethnic minority groups.  The individualised matching of a caret to people with very diverse needs is truly unique.


The Outstanding Contribution to Care Award – Gill Burn, Thirsk Community Care Association

Despite considering evidence of outstanding contributions of ALL the candidates, the judges are unanimous in agreeing that the specific contribution made by Gill Burn marks out her efforts as inspiring, influential, effective and future-facing.

Through her efforts hundreds of carers have received support, dozens of children have found foster homes and user-led initiatives have been supported.

It’s not just about what SHE can do but what she has enabled others to do – through volunteering, through caring, through people forming their own support groups.

Gill is a very deserving winner of this special award acknowledging her outstanding contribution to care in North Yorkshire.