Friday 22nd October Manchester United FC, provided a spectacular backdrop for the finals of the second Great North West Care Awards, where the seventeen category winners were announced.

The Great North West 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 North West 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.

There were a total of seventeen 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 dementia and innovation.

This year saw a new award, the Carer’s award for unpaid carers.  The very special Carer’s Award is dedicated to the unpaid carers in our region who demonstrate commitment and perseverance in the care they give. Six million people a year provide unpaid care to either a relative, friend or child who is ill, frail or disabled. This award seeks to acknowledge and celebrate the dedication that carers give to those they care for and the incredible contribution they make. This was awarded to a remarkable man, Alfred Hales aged 89 from Bolton in Lancashire.

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 leading compare Steve Walls, dancing into the night.  Singing Waiters also surprised guests with their rendition of Nessum Dorma.

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, including Nottingham, 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 North West Care Awards for the second 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 North West 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 North West Care Awards, together with the judges comments are detailed below:


The Care Employer Award – Less than 250

Lynne Griffin & Nicola Tooke – Richmond Village – Nantwich – Cheshire

The Richard Village are clearly a very person centred organisation and recognise and meet individual care and support needs. The importance of staff development is recognised and sourced out through a well established care and management team.

The Care Employer Award – More than 250

Ken Nolan – Springhill Care – Accrington – Lancashire

Springhill demonstrated a real passion for valuing customers and staff. Their core values underpin everything they do and are truly supported by staff. The culture is person centred and staff are empowered to empower customers.

The Care Home Worker Award

Alison Bevan – Hazeldene Care Home – Blackburn – Lancashire

An excellent candidate who developed a calm, professional approach with her dedication shining through. Herself awareness and achievement of work/life balance where both her ‘families’ benefit is inspirational.

The Home Care Worker Award

Sally Morgan – Mears Care Ltd – Workington – Cumbria

Sally demonstrated great empathy and compassion with her service users and sees caring as a two way relationship. Her professionalism and desire to progress further in the organisation was highly commendable.

The Care Newcomer Award

Jon-Paul Grimes – Allied Healthcare Group – Salford – Manchester

The transformation of Jon-Paul from auto worker to passionate care worker is remarkable and clear to see. He demonstrated a real drive to make a difference and to do the best he can for those that he cares for.

The Care Home Registered Manager Award

Catherine Watters – Cumbria Care – Carlisle – Cumbria

Catherine came across as a very visionary leader who has people she supports very much in the centre of her work. She illustrated through a number of examples of good practice in relation of how people being supported she recognised the importance of developing an effective staff team.

The Home Care Registered Manager Award

Darren Guy – Domus Healthcare Group – Oldham

Darren demonstrated clear leadership skills coupled with a strong mutual respect for staff and service users alike. He treats everyone as an individual and was clearly proud of his team’s achievements.

The Care Nutrition & Hydration Award

Karen Dalton – Cumbria Care – Carlisle – Cumbria

The judges were impressed with Cumbria Care’s innovative approach to nutrition; their awareness, information sharing and research. A person-centred, holistic approach that stood out by miles.

The Dignity in Care Award

Carole Wardle – Care UK – Crewe – Cheshire

We were impressed with Carole’s passionate approach to dignity, her enthusiasm to drive forward the key principles of dignity in care through her staff team.

The Dementia Carer Award

Belinda Jones – Beong Crew in Cheshire Care Services – Nantwich – Cheshire

The judges were highly impressed by Belinda’s preparation, ability to share her enthusiasm and market her individual skills. She has an obvious love of direct care giving and leading by example Care Team – Ruth Eley, Graeme Lee & Barbara Watts

The Care Team Award

Lancashire Care Trust Liaison Team  – Lancashire Care Foundation Trust – Rawtenstall – Lancashire

The judges were extremely impressed by the clarity of vision, commitment to evidence based practice and the strong cohesion of this team, built up in a comparatively short time.

The Care Activity Organiser Award

Orla Adamson – Meridian Healthcare – Hyde – Cheshire

Orla demonstrated outstanding qualities in co-ordinating activities that enhanced the lives of all residents by encouraging their contribution and fulfilment.

The Ancillary Worker Award

Julie Angus – CLS Care Services – Knutsford – Cheshire

Julie’s enthusiasm and love for her job shone through to the judges. Julie has an excellent understanding of how the ancillary workers’ role contributes to the personalised services, feelings of well being and dignity.

The Care Trainer Award

Nursing Care Home Liaison Team – Lancashire Care Foundation Trust – Rawtenstall – Lancashire

An integrated team, delivering bespoke person centred training to individuals, with a clear shared passion and involvement in bringing dementia training to life.

The Care Innovator Award

Martin Clark – Care Concepts Group – Manchester

Martin Clark impressed the judges by clearly demonstrating how he had developed and then implemented a clearly innovative approach to looking after those with dementia. Using his background and determination he managed to bring his concept to reality.

The Carers Award

Alfred Hales, aged 89, Bolton Lancashire

Alfred cares for his wife Eunice who suffered from a severe stroke in 2002.  Eunice stayed in hospital for 5 months and was advised to go into residential care.  Alfred is 89, cares for Eunice, 87 24 hours a day 365 days of the year. In all this time Alfred has been involved in voluntary work and in just over eight years has raised over £49,000 for world wide charities.  Alfred was awarded the MBE earlier this year.  He and Eunice have recently celebrated 65 years of marriage.  A remarkable man who symbolises the true meaning of caring.

The Outstanding Contribution to Social Care Award

Gillian McGuirk, Support Worker, Cumbria County Council

After 35 years of caring Gillian’s enthusiasm and passion to deliver the best possible care to her residents has never faded.  She possesses a unique generosity that goes above and beyond the call of duty dedicating the little free time she has into fundraising, planning and organising outings for residents.  An exception carer!