On Friday 1st November, the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull provided a spectacular backdrop for the finals of the Great West Midlands Care Awards, where the nineteen category winners were announced.

The Great West 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 West 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 Weat Girl Emma Jesson 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 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 West Midlands Care 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 West 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 West Midlands Care Awards, together with the judge’s comments are detailed below:


The Care Employer Award – Sandra Barnfield, Bancroft Gardens

The epitome of a good care employer, demonstrating the importance of supporting and valuing staff ensuring the staff have all the training and commitment for care they provide. We are privileged to honour Sandra with this award.


The Care Home Worker Award – Hayley Evans, St Philips Care

Hayley has overcome huge obstacles to achieve the position she is in now. After a serious accident Hayley came back to work in care with little or no confidence, she has gone on to achieve NVQ’s and demonstrated a real understanding of person centred care. Hayley is just the kind of care worker we need in this industry and it was a real pleasure to give this award to her.


The Home Care Worker Award – Barbara Brain, Direct Health

Barbara definitely goes the extra mile in delivering person centred care. It is the small details that Barbara picks up on that really make a difference to the lives of her service users and their families. Well done Barbara – you deserve this!


The Care Newcomer Award – Sarah Johnson, Heritage Manor

Having had to look after her Nan influenced Sarah to become a carer with the aim of making a difference. In her short time in care Sarah has achieved this and the residents are very fortunate to have a carer with such compassion and dedication.


The Care Home Registered Manager Award – Amanda Raine, Barchester

An inspirational breath of fresh air demonstrating qualities beyond her years. Providing real lives and aspirations for her residents, ensuring the home is a fun place to be for everyone. Congratulations Amanda!


The Home Care Registered Manager – Gillian Simpson – Fairway Homecare Ltd

Gillian evidenced her passion to go above and beyond her job role. Working with local support groups and charities to enhance her service users experience Gillian is a great example of a great manager. Well done Gillian!


The Dignity in Care Award – Anne Minshall, Abbots House

Anne has an infectious approach to person centred care with dignity being the essence of everything she does.  As Anne said ‘Dignity is in the detail!’  Congratulations Anne!


The Dementia Carer Award – Mary Reid, Amore Care

Mary showed true dedication to her role and knowledge of the needs of people living with dementia. She certainly goes the extra mile for her service users and is clearly passionate about ensuring their journey is interesting and fulfilling.


The Care Team Award – The Chinese Domiciliary Care Team – Reach the People Charity

An outstanding team lead by a charismatic individual who is passionate about them all. They have overcome many difficulties caused by the perception of care in the Chinese community and continue to show their passion and dedication to their service users and their families. A fantastic team who really deserve this recognition.


The Care Home Activity Organiser Award – Lucy Gordon & Emma Williams, Elizabeth Finn Homes

Lucy and Emma work in total partnership in what they refer to as ‘an amazing job’ to ensure that their residents enjoy an exceptional range of activities to suit all abilities.


The Ancillary Worker Award – John Rose, Amber Support Services

John is full of life and passion. The way in which he involves his clients in his work and encourages them to decide what to do next is outstanding.


The Care Trainer Award – Kirsten Barnacle, Mobile Care Services

Kirsten’s enthusiasm for her role is infectious, she is an excellent ambassador for the care sector. She clearly understands the impact and essential nature of learning and development and provides her staff with knowledge, confidence and skills to provide the highest quality of care.


The Care Innovator Award – Susannah Chard, Choices Housing Association

Susannah has demonstrated real passion for her innovation. At the heart was the real empowerment of service users in developing the toolkit. The judges would like to wish Susannah every success with developing in the future – well done Susannah!


The Frontline Leaders Award – Tracy Stanley, Alzheimer’s Society

Tracy believes in leading by example, finding ways to develop staff to ensure the people who use their service maintain independence and freedom of choice. Congratulations Tracy!


The Home Care Co-ordinator Award – Linda Shillingford, MDH Support

Linda is adept at resolving issues for clients, she described superb team working and recognises the need for organic business growth saying that ‘The clients make what you do a pleasure’.


The Putting People First Award – Community Opportunities Team, Dudley MBC

This team demonstrated real empathy and understanding, sharing the goals and aspirations of those they support. Everyday they empower people to be truly respected by society and strive to enhance their lives.


The Unpaid Carers Award – Jenny Smedley

Jenny has cared for her mum who has end stage Dementia, for many years and never fails to show her commitment and love. Jenny is constantly on the go and has found many strategies to cope with her mum’s complex condition. When carers go in to support Jenny with her mum’s care needs, they always come out happy and positive as the house is filled with laughter, love and joy.


The Outstanding Contribution to Social Care Award – Helen McNelly, Mobile Care Services

Helen is an inspirational leader who creates enthusiasm for her vision of social care within everyone she meets. Her commitment and passion are truly outstanding and her dedication to the sector is definitely one to be recognised. Well done Helen!