On Saturday 27th October, the Imperial War Musuem, Duxford provided a spectacular backdrop for the finals of the Great East of England Care Awards, where the seventeen category winners were announced.

The Great East of England 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 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.  Care Talk magazine is the media partner.

There were a total of seventeen 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 presenter Penny Smith 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 of England 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 of Englandare 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 judge’s comments are detailed below:


The Care Employer Award


Asif Raja – Summercare

15yrs ago Asif had a vision of how people with disabilities should be supported and set up Summercare. That vision still burns brightly today and has shaped the services which his organisation provides.



The Care Home Worker Award


Rio Fisher – Greensleeves Homes Trust

Rio takes pride in ensuring older people are treated as individuals – with a life to live and a story to tell. A real role model for all other carers.



The Home Care Worker Award


Jacqueline Curry – Westminster Homecare

Jacqueline takes pride in helping people reach their goals and aspirations. She clearly has a very caring nature and believes everyone has the right to choose.




The Care Newcomer Award


Katy Heasman – Country Court Care At Home

Katy has quickly understood the challenges of her roles. She wanted to do something that helps people and her service users are very lucky to have Katy supporting them – well done!



The Care Home Registered Manager Award


Jackie Makwangwala – Quantum Care

Jackie impressed the judges with the fact that she always puts her residents first and understands the importance of her management role. She sets the highest standards and achieves them through her staff team.



The Home Care Registered Manager Award


Cathy Dyer – Home Instead Senior Care

In a very strong field Cathy had management skills in depth which she uses to create effective care and to model excellent care practice to her staff. Noted that the organisation has no complaints the judges put this down to the ‘no blame’ style of management from Cathy and a very intensive induction and training programme.



The Dignity in Care Award


Sue Bumstead – Norse Care Ltd

Sue demonstrates a passion and enthusiasm for ensuring that dignity is the paramount factor in the care and support of the residents within her home and is committed to a programme of continuous improvement.



The Dementia Carer Award


Julia Hayes – Norse Care Ltd

Would we want Julia looking after our family…? absolutely! Julia understands dementia care and needs of the people she cares for. She is also passionate about developing her team to the highest standards. Julia is a star and truly deserves this award – congratulations Julia!



The Care Team Award


Scope Inclusion Team – Scope

Scope manage a dispersed workforce in such a way that is maintains the teams clear ethos. They demonstrated a complete range of different ways of how the team respects their staff and service users in a very innovative way.



The Care Home Activity Organiser Award


Joanne Haxell – Baylham Care Centre

Joanne lives and breathes Baylham Care Centre. Her creativity, enthusiasm and love for her residents shines out – a truly deserving winner!





The Ancillary worker Award


Debbie Andrews – Greensleeves Homes Trust

Debbie involves her residents in her gardens from the potting shed to the fruit cage. Bees, old fashioned cottage garden flowers and even photographers are all welcome there!



The Care Trainer Award


Mandy Graham – Primary Care

Mandy demonstrates commitment to her role and excellent understanding of what is required. She clearly understands the needs of individuals and is innovative and creative in ways of accessing funding and delivering training.



The Care Innovator Award


Neil Russell – PJ Care

Neil has been a catalyst for creating an innovative approach to the residential care for a wide ranging group of adult service users. He has focussed on the construction of modern purpose built units specifically tailored to individuals with profound needs in a caring, homely environment.



The Frontline Leaders Award


Roy Blackwell – Doris Jones Ltd

Roy’s professionalism and commitment to leading his team, delivering excellence and person-centred care was evident in everything he said. Roy is a man you can trust to show true social care, value driven leadership.


The Putting People First Award


Carly Stannard – Fitzroy

The was an extremely difficult decision for the panel with a very strong field of candidates. Following a lot of deliberation we chose Carly as it was very clear she had taken a very personal interest in making sure the individual was put first throughout the whole service experience she and her team provide.


Unpaid Carers Award


Richard Cross

Richard has been caring for his wife for 22 years and so has extensive experience as a service user of GP practices and carer services in his local area. In his Carer Ambassador role, Richard has been collaborating with Crossroads Care Cambridgeshire to support their GP Carers Prescription Service which aims to identify hidden carers and provide short breaks to carers when they need them. Richard has been focussing on contacting GP practices which have not yet taken up the service and has met with practice managers and other staff to explain the advantages of doing so.

Despite the demands of his caring role, Richard has put considerable time and energy into his volunteering activities, and his calm, friendly, engaging manner is helping GP practices in Cambridgeshire to understand the advantages of identifying and supporting carers well.


The Outstanding Contribution to Social Care Award


Catherine McBride

Catherine has contributed over 30 years to the social care sector.  Catherine first qualified as a registered nurse for people with learning disabilities in 1987 and has since worked in the delivery of health and social care, now working as the Managing Director for Elbow Grease as well as the North London Homecare and Support Ltd.  Elbow Grease is an organisation run by a team of adults with learning disabilities, who are supported to provide the following services to people living in the community.  Catherine has shown incredible vision in developing such an innovative organisation which has created personal self-worth amongst people with learning disabilities and has helped overcome prejudice and delivering services to local community and recipients of the services.


Catherine is highly respected by all her staff and those we provide a service to.  She is a constant encouragement for staff new and old, and leads by example. Catherine treats every staff member as an individual and shows respect to each and every one.


Catherine is always looking for ways to improve the service that we provide and involves the staff in this process to improve their own practice too.   As one of her members of staff said, “Catherine really deserves this recognition; she is just what an employer should be and more!”

There is so much more we could say about Catherine but so little time so ladies and gentlemen please put your hands together for Catherine!