On Friday 5th November the Old Passenger Shed in Bristol, provided a spectacular backdrop for the finals of the inaugural Great South West Care Awards, where the sixteen category winners were announced.

The Great South 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 South 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.  Caring UK magazine is the media partner.

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 Shaun Williamson from East Enders and Extras 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 South West Care Awards for the very first time. The care awards are goning from strength to strength with this year’s regional events attracting the crème de la crème from the social care workforce.  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 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 South West Care Awards, together with the judges comments are detailed below:


The Care Employer Award

WINNER – Ian Salter & Sharon Workman – Aspirations Care Ltd – Stroud, Gloucestershire

The judges were unanimous in choosing Aspirations Care. They demonstrated a real passion for their services. Their motivation was infectious and they had genuine compassion for the service users. In Sharon and Ian’s words ‘they are privileged to support some amazing people’.


The Care Home Worker Award

WINNER – Becky Johnson – Tovic Care – Sherbourne – Dorset

Becky demonstrated passion for her work and a willingness for all care from all staff to be delivered in a right way. The judges felt that Becky shared great ambition and drive which is why she is a wonderful ambassador for this category.


The Home Care Worker Award

WINNER – Jessica Scott – Platinum Plus Healthcare Ltd – Torquay – Devon

Jessica’s passion for care and commitment to her service users was evident. Incredibly professional and career driven, Jessica showed a tremendous insight into care, recognising professional boundaries, supporting service users and colleagues alike.


The Care Newcomer Award

WINNER – Kaisei Evans – Brandon Care Ltd – Exmouth – Devon

Kaisei really understood what dignity and care is about and was able to articulate that well. Someone who is not afraid to challenge her practice and drive up standards. Kaisei advocates for service users.


The Care Home Registered Manager Award

WINNER – Natalie Adams – Tovic Ltd – Sherbourne – Dorset

Natalie spoke positively and passionately about the nature of the care profession. As a manager she clearly recognises the value of small changes is making a huge difference to the life of her residents. Natalie demonstrates that taking your staff team with you pays dividends in the quality of care for residents.


The Home Care Registered Manager Award

WINNER – Jasmine Broome – Medico Nursing & Homecare – Paignton – Devon

Judges felt Jasmine demonstrated a dynamic approach to both service deliveries and business acumen. She emphasised the importance of aligning the needs of the service users with those of the carers – Calling it Match.com. Jasmine will be great ambassador for the care industry.


The Care Home Nutrition & Hydration Award

WINNER – Avon View – Amanda Elliot & Karen Place – Christchurch – Dorset

The judges thought Karen and Amanda showed a clear path of planning and resident involvement in the meal times, environment and menu choice – it was a clear team effort.


The Dignity in Care Award

WINNER – Julie Hughes – Park View Nursing Home – Blunsdon – Swindon

Julie brought a wealth of experience of working with vulnerable residents. She had a very positive attitude to her role and demonstrated to the judges how she employs the notion of dignity – all aspects of her day to day work. If anyone has the opportunity, the judges encourage you to ask her to explain her ‘naughty but nice’!!


The Dementia Carer Award

WINNER – Tina Marsh – Barchester Healthcare – Stroud – Gloucestershire

Enthusiastic sound training background leads by example, likes to show how to do it properly. Totally committed to client group with dedication and professionalism. Committed to own personal development to make a difference in a difficult industry.


The Care Team Award

WINNER – The Swaps Team – Swaps – Kingsteignton – Newton Abbot

The judges want to make it known that everyone of the nominees was a potential winner – the standard was extremely high and there was very little between candidates

However the judges were bowled over by the energy and professionalism of the Swaps team. They demonstrated how ‘shared lives’ significantly benefit not just the users of the service but the whole community. They believe – what they do – the results show!!


The Care Home Activity Organiser Award

WINNER – Wayne Thompson – Craegmoor – Llantristant

Wayne works in a small low security unit for people with a mental or learning disability. His role is an integral part of the multi-disciplinary approach to the care and support provided. Wayne’s passion and dedication to the people he supports shines through. He succeeds in combing education, health and fun in the activities he offers to a very diverse group of people with complex needs. Through music he has empowered people to communicate.


The Ancillary Worker Award

WINNER – Kathleen Stacey – Barchester Healthcare – Yeovill

Kathleen is a modest individual who takes pride in her work. Kathleen manages a team of nine, expressed clearly her role in leading by example, and supporting the tem to ensure each individual needs met.


The Putting People First/ Personalisation Award

WINNER – First City Nursing Services – Swindon

First City nursing services demonstrated a passionate, knowledgeable enthusiasm for their own outcome focused service delivery. Important to them was equality, diversity, staff training – but most of all empowerment.


The Care Trainer Award

WINNER – Ann Dando – The Grange Care Centre – Stonehouse – Gloucestershire

Ann demonstrated to the judges, in just a few words that she displayed a clear understanding of personalisation and choice. She showed a genuine commitment to reach all staff. The judges wanted Ann to be delivering their training to their service users.


The Care Innovator Award

WINNER – Jane Raeside – Swindon Borough Council – Swindon

The judges were impressed with the way Jane had taken on a project others had said would not work. She has a vision that will materialise through her creative thinking and business planning to create a service that could be replicated nationally as well as locally.


The Outstanding Contribution to Social Care Award

WINNER – Brian Westlake – Altogether Care – Weymouth

Brian Westlake is Chariman of Altogether Care, Weymouth, Doreset.  Brian is passionate about providing a better life for older people in care.  A strong supporter in partnership working, he chaired the Dorset Care Association, ushering in a new era of mutual understanding and respect between providers and commissioners.  His strategic vision, drive and engaging personality provided impetus behind the DCA until its demise in 2004.

Recognising the need to provide a new focus for providers in the region and for a body for which public authorities could deal, Brian single handily created the Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole Care Association and became its first Chairman.   His work has lead to invitations to join numerous public bodies such as the Dorset Employment and Skills Council, Partners in Care and the Poole Management Board – Personalising Adult Social Care.

Through his leadership and willingness to work for the common good a genuine partnership now exists between providers and commissioners of care in Dorset.

His reputation goes before him and his vast knowledge, expertise and leadership is regularly sought by local authorities and providers.  He speaks passionately about the care industry and related subjects at events and provides professional commentary for the Media, including hosting the BBC’s the Politics Show in Weymouth Care Home.  There is no doubt when Brian speaks people listen!

His charity work is extensive including Chairman of the Management Board of Trimar Hospice and providing lifetime experiences for terminally ill children.   He has also championed the work done by care workers through the Care Ambassadors Scheme.

Brian gives of himself and his time endlessly and it is fitting that he should receive an award that recognises his work and many achievements.