On Friday 19th October, the Belfry Hotel, Nottingham provided a spectacular backdrop for the finals of the Great East Midlands Care Awards, where the nineteen category winners were announced.

The Great East Midlands Care Awards, supported by the Department of Health, are part of the Great British Care Awards, a series of regional awards which celebrates excellence in social care and pay tribute to those who work in the sector throughout England.  The awards are all inclusive, bringing together the statutory, independent and voluntary sectors, as well as unpaid carers; promoting joint working.

The Great East Midlands Care Awards have received nominations and support from all corners of the sector. Sector support includes the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), Skills for Care, Ceretas and the English Community Care Association.  Local Authority support and commercial organisations are also supporting the awards.  Care Talk magazine is the media partner.

There were a total of nineteen award 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, specialist care in areas such as dementia and innovation.

Nominations came in from all corners of the sector and region and successful candidates were invited for interview for infront of a panel of sector experts.  Thegala award evening started in style with a champagne reception, followed by a superb gourmet dinner and the awards presentation with TV personality and actor Martin Kemp and then dancing into the night.

Winners from the awards will be invited to attend the national finals for either the home care or care home sector which will take place in April and June 2013 at a prestigious venue in London.

The awards support a chosen charity; The Care Professionals Benevolent Fund is the registered charity for the Care Sector and are here to support current, former and retired care professionals, by providing assistance to relieve financial hardship or sickness.

Lisa Carr, Director of the Great British Care Awards said,

“We are delighted to be staging the Great East Midlands Care Awards for the third time. The care awards are going from strength to strength with this year’s regional events.  The support from sector partners has been overwhelming and the quality and sheer nominations has been astounding.

These awards recognise and pay tribute to the efforts and dedication of all those who work tirelessly to ensure that so many people are able to live independent lives in their own home. They are the perfect showcase to reflect on best practice in the social care sector. A sector where people truly dedicate themselves to their work and take pride in their achievements.

The people of the East Midlandsare incredibly fortunate to have such dedicated people caring for the vulnerable and elderly members of their communities. Congratulations to everyone this evening – everyone here is a winner!”

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


The Care Employer Award


Country Court Care

A company whose commitment to innovate and improve has ensured they do not rest on their laurels. They have an obvious passion for care which drives their business forward for the benefit of staff and residents.


The Care Home Worker Award


Gail Rose – Mercy Care Services

Gail’s enjoyment of her job shines through in everything she says. She loves to talk to her residents and to see the world through their eyes.


The Home Care Worker Award


Carole Tilford – Carewatch

Unbelievable! Carole truly cares and walking 1.5hrs to do a call in heavy snow is truly commendable – putting someone else’s needs before her own is true inspiration for us all.


Care Newcomer Award


Gemma Brown – Milford Care

Gemma has developed rapidly in a short space of time.  Her passion and commitment to care shines through as is her creative approach to ensure positive outcomes for the residents.   Gemma’s enthusiasm to embrace training will ensure that she will undoubtedly continue to be a successful social care professional.


The Care Home Registered Manager Award


Zoe Ayliff – Community Care Solutions

Zoe clearly understood the management process and uses it to drive up standards; she is passionate about the service users’ involvement, leading to person-centred outcomes. Zoe clearly leads her team to achieve the best!

The Home Care Registered Manager Award


Sunjay Majithia – Carewatch Leicester

Sunjay demonstrated a creative and fun way of ensuring his service is inclusive, person-centred and meeting the needs of a very diverse community. He puts a smile on the faces of service users and staff.


The Care Home Nutrition & Hydration Award


Nuryanni Deans – Elior UK

Nuryanni is a dedicated professional who makes things happen. She doesn’t hide in the kitchen and is constantly watching her services users to ensure they are happy and all their needs are met.


The Dignity in Care Award


Veronica Bell – Nottinghamshire County Council

Veronica said ‘on a good day I can be a decent role model’ but the judges agreed she was the best role model they have met in a long time! Well done Veronica!


The Dementia Carer Award


Sharon Wykes – Olympus Care Services

Sharon sees the person first and not the dementia, her creative and innovative approach to care and support is outstanding.


The Care Team Award


Derbyshire Community Support Team – Leonard Cheshire Disability

The judges had a very difficult decision to make due to the overall high standards from all the finalists. However this team impressed the most through their real passion for making a real impact on people’s quality of life. The team managed a very difficult period of change but maintained their focus of those people for whom they provide a service.


The Care Innovator Award


David Young – Advance Support

David showed passion and enthusiasm in creating a service based on reviewing service users’ emotional needs by empowering people with learning disabilities to undertake the reviews.


The Ancillary Worker Award


Samantha Palmer – Milford Care

Samantha’s proudest achievement was winning the ‘bounce, bounce Tigger’ award from the residents at the Christmas Party! She has an instinctive person-centred approach to residents and is clearly an asset to be cherished.


The Care Trainer Award


Darryl Hand – Direct Health

Darryl wowed the judges with his passion, commitment and dedication. His personal experience and work ethic combined gives a real legacy for the future of the care industry.


The Frontline Leaders Award


Gemma Whiting – Social Care Solutions

Gemma demonstrates at all levels a clear understanding of her role as a leader, coupled with passion and commitment to her staff and the service users she works with.


The Home Care Co-ordinator Award


Maria Goodwin – Carewatch Leicester

Although the competition was tough Maria’s care values and approach to her work made her the clear winner. Maria uses what she learns at work and at home to make sure she gets it right for people in both areas and as such is an inspiration to us all.


The Putting People First Award


Frankie Hannah – Athena Care

An exceptional natural carer whose practice is generated from a remarkable value base and whose work has already proven to be life changing and life enhancing for the people she cares for.


Care Home Activity Organiser Award


Chris Ryatt – Richmond Villages

Chris is creative and innovative in his approach to designing and planning activities and ensures they are always outcome focussed. He is passionate about his role and through his infectious personality ensures that all residents are involved at every level.


The Outstanding Contribution to Social Care Award


Glenda Adey – Direct Health

Glenda has worked in the health and social care sector for over 40 years.  During this time Glenda has worked in both residential and home care as well as been the primary carer for both her parents who suffered from dementia.  Glenda lives and breathes social care and her passion and dedication for the sector is inspirational.


The Unpaid Carer Award


Bridget Leech

Bridget has made an enormous contribution to improving carers’ lives in Derbyshire firstly as chair and more recently as a volunteer with her local carers’ organisation. A former GP for 27 years, she has successfully used this insight in her latest voluntary role of working with GP practices to try to improve local carer identification and support – vital work given that GPs are the first port of call for carers.