On Friday 29th October the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, provided a spectacular backdrop for the finals of the inaugural Great East of England Care Awards, where the fifteen category winners were announced.

The Great East of England Care Awards, supported by the Department of Health and HET Software, 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 of England 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.  Caring UK magazine is the media partner.

There were a total of fifteen awards 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 demntia and innovation.

Nominations came in from all corners of the sector and the region and successful candidates invited for interview for infront of a panel of sector experts.  The gala award evening started in style with a champagne reception, followed by a superb gourmet dinner and the awards presentation with Mark Moraghan from Holby City fame and 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 May and June 2011 at the prestigious Royal Courts of Justice in London.

The awards support a chosen charity, The Maggie’s Centre, which has sites across the country supporting people who lives have been impacted upon by cancer.

In addition an auction for the Care Professionals Benevolent Fund was held – the prize, a jeroboam of French rose wine  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 of England Care Awards for the very first time. The care awards are goning 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 of England are 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 of England Care Awards, together with the judges comments are detailed below:

The Care Employer Award

Peterborough Care Ltd – Peterborough

Peterborough Care stood out as confident employers. They are undertaking ground breaking projects to improve the learning, support and physical working environment for their staff. As an employer, and as a provider, we think Peterborough Care ‘get it’!

The Care Home Worker Award

Susan Cox – Southern Cross – Oakington – Cambridgeshire

Susan clearly demonstrated training, respect, dignity and choice made a difference to the residents in the home. Susan support relatives and colleagues, a highly respected and well thought of individual, fulfilling her ambition to work in care.

The Home Care Worker Award

Sharon Dixon – Anglia Case Management – Bury St Edmunds – Suffolk

Sharon is passionate about her role and the difference she makes to the lives of others. She is aware of her professional/personal boundaries but demonstrated how she can deliver seamless solutions by putting fun into support.

The Care Newcomer Award

Zara Hardwick – Housing 21 – Kesgrave – Ipswich

It was obvious from the start that Zara was extremely enthusiastic and very proud of her role. She showed understanding and common sense far beyond her years, therefore it was easy to make her our outstanding winner!

The Care Home Registered Manager Award

Jackie Wright – Raveedha Care Ltd – Linton – Cambridge

Jackie clearly showed vision in her management style, stating that her residents’ voice was the most important thing. Jackie said ‘I look at the future and try to sell it to them, if we take this journey together we will have a better life’.

The Home Care Registered Manager Award

Nicola Rowland – Ultimate Care UK Ltd – Stutton – Ipswich

Nicola is innovative to provide rural care. She wants to change the perception of home care, recognising it as a profession enabling a better quality of life in their own homes.

The Care Nutrition & Hydration Award

Jason Parker – Care Home Service – Norwich

Jason showed good partnership practices, excellent audit tools, feedback practices and communication with both residents and staff alike. There was a clear path of improvement and quality assessment – well done!!

The Dignity in Care Award

Nelson Sibanda – Sure Care – Southend on Sea – Essex

Nelson truly understands the concept of dignity, this enabling approach was evident. We feel he is an instinctive provider of support, promoting dignity and respect at all times.

The Dementia Carer Award

Maureen Hudson – Bramley Court Care Home – Histon – Cambridge

Maureen demonstrated the energy, commitment and passion needed to work in dementia services. Her leadership and motivational skills shone through helping to create an enabling environment for service users.

The Care Team Award

Service Placement Team – Essex County Council – Colchester

The Service Placement Team demonstrated clear partnership working. They discussed inspiration and motivational techniques for newer members of their team. This team makes a difference and improves people’s lives.

The Care Activity Co-ordinator Award

Peter Turner – Housing 21 – Kesgrave – Ipswich

Peter demonstrated that activities delivered are the result of discussions with tenants, relatives and carers. He clearly has a great enthusiasm for his role. We were particularly impressed by his tales of prevention work.

The Care Trainer Award

Helen Arney – Kingswood Care Services – Burnt Mills – Essex

Despite the limitations of her remit Helen demonstrated a good understanding of the key principles that underpin adult learning and was able to demonstrate how training had a positive impact on the life experience of service users. Helen was also really proud of the trainees and ethos of learning that she had developed.

The Care Innovator Award

Steve Knight – Essex County Council – Chelmsford – Essex

Steve was passionate and knowledgeable about the Universal Supervision Guide. Complimentary to his team and others with their contribution. Steve took great pride in sharing this with 19 other local authorities in many sectors.

The Putting People First/ Personalisation Award

Kirk Wells – PALS Ltd – Witham – Essex

Kirk is passionate about his company and the people he serves. A visionary leader, showing innovation for seamless solutions between education and social support.

The Outstanding Contribution to Social Care Award

Maggie Hawley, Great Yarmouth


Maggie Hawley started in the care world with Norfolk County Council 41 years ago.   She was instrumental in developing the Home Care Service into a strategically operating service ensuring high standards were achieved and maintained through good management and planned appropriate training for all staff in all sectors, which ensured consistency throughout the whole County.  Maggie’s warm personality has ensured that all her staff found her approachable, knowledgeable and understanding of the complex nature of the Business.

What her colleagues say about her     “What Maggie gave us as our line manager and colleague is her vast knowledge and passion regarding the home care industry. Her work within the national scene was invaluable to the ever changing developments within Norfolk Home Support and we wouldn’t have a successful assessment and reablement scheme without her persistence to change the focus of the in house team”.

Nationally Maggie has always played a positive role believing that sharing ideas and information always creates an upbeat attitude to development and expansion.  She has been a member of Ceretas for as long as she can remember and an Executive Member of the National Homecare Council taking an active part in the planning and organisation of the Annual Conferences.