On Friday 29th November, the Hilton Hotel, Brighton provided a spectacular backdrop for the finals of the Great South East Care Awards, where the eighteen category winners were announced.

The Great South EastCare 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 South East 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 eighteen 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 Helen Lederer 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 2014 at a prestigious venue in London.

The awards support a chosen charity; The Care Worker’s Charity is the registered charity for the Care Sector and is 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 South EastCare Awards for the fourth 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 South East 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 South East Awards, together with the judge’s comments are detailed below:


The Care Employer Award – Eternity Care & Support

Tania communicates and supports staff with empathy whilst maintaining a balanced business approach. Ensuring staff and their interests are matched to the client’s needs – including swimming with sharks!! Well done Tania!


The Care Home Worker Award – Vee Hudson, Victoria Nursing Homes

An amazing lady who’s contribution to the sector is under stated. Vee won the judges hearts and minds and left them blown away by her commitment and passion. This lady has a real impact on the people she supports and truly deserves this award.


The Home Care Worker Award – Madeleine Moll-Harrach, Safe Harbour Homecare Ltd

Maddy has a quiet disposition which is essential when providing palliative care at home. Her willingness to be available to families of service users outside normal working hours shows her dedication – well done Maddy!


The Newcomer Award – Kayleigh Smith, Scope

Kayleigh demonstrates real empathy with her residents. Her passion to work in social care shone through. She is driven to providing quality services and will be a real asset to social care.


The Care Home Registered Manager Award – Ann-Marie Medd, Colten Care

Ann-Marie demonstrated clearly the qualities that exemplify excellent care. Passionate about her work, the sector, her staff and most of all her residents – a true inspiration, congratulations!


The Home Care Registered Manager – Amanda Pettitt, Active Assistance

An inspirational and passionate individual with a can do attitude and innovative approach. Always challenging and seeking new ideas and working practices to make a real difference in such a specialist area.


The Nutrition & Hydration Award – Paul Wydra, Four Seasons Healthcare

Paul’s passion and commitment to providing his residents with high quality food throughout the day by creating imaginative menu choices on a restricted budget is very clear. Paul has a continual thirst for knowledge and his understanding of his residents’ needs is highly commendable.


The Dignity in Care Award – Sue Simpson, Alzheimer’s Society

Sue is warm and imaginative with creative approach. She has a wealth of experience from her own life and within the sector and continues to build on this through learning and improving wherever she can.  Sue’s every action make dignity her priority.


The Dementia Carer Award – Trina Steer, Carebase Ltd

Trina demonstrated and evidenced a creative and innovative approach, involving staff and family members, in supporting outstanding dementia and end of life care for people with dementia. Congratulations Trina!


The Care Team Award – TQ at Home Team, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

A very motivated and dynamic start up team with a very bright future ahead of them. They are all totally committed to giving a first class quality service to enable people to leave hospital early. Well done!


The Care Home Activity Organiser Award – Rebecca Craker, Optalis

Inspiring residents and staff in a wonderful range of activities, seeing residential care as a ‘new beginning’. It is very clear how much Rebecca loves her job and sees it as a privilege to touch the lives of her residents.


The Ancillary Worker Award – Barry Coleman, PJ Care

Barry inspired the judges by his ability to understand the people he supports and what is important to them. He brings the everyday sense of well being to people who have extremely difficult and challenging healthcare needs. Well done Barry you are a star!


The Care Trainer Award – Leila David, Active Assistance

Leila made us all want to go and work for Active Assistance! Her attention to the values and culture of excellent care with the investment in staff of her organisation is an example to us all. Leila is an excellent ambassador for good care and her employers.


The Care Innovator Award – Zoe Harris, Care Charts UK

Zoe has developed and continues to develop a truly excellent innovative idea that meets the needs of the residents and staff and ensures quality of care. A well deserved winner – congratulations!


The Frontline Leaders Award – Anna Lesniak, PJ Care

Anna is a brilliant leader who through her passionate interest and professional determination has become an expert in her field. By bringing together her experience with social care values and staff leadership she has become a truly outstanding frontline leader and really deserves this recognition.


The Home Care Co-ordinator Award – Laraine Ross, Nurse Plus

Laraine appears to be the rock that holds her office together carrying out a lot more than a normal co-ordinator’s role. Her passion and dedication to her role shone through and was the clear winner for this award, well done Laraine!



The Putting People First Award – FACES/Maria Hayward, Hampshire County Council

FACES is such a simple concept that has a huge impact on individuals and their relationships. It should be adapted and implemented in all care settings. Truly deserving of this award, well done!



The Outstanding Contribution to Social Care Award – Mike Keighly, The Meath Epilepsy Trust

Working in social care for over 45 years Mike’s passion and drive for good quality care continues to grow along with development of his services to improve the lives of others. A true inspiration and fantastic ambassador for the care sector. Well done Mike!