Friday 14th November saw over 300 of the very best in social care attended a glittering awards ceremony at the Peterborough Arena,  for the  finals of the Great East of England Care Awards, where the category winners were announced.

The Great East of England Care Awards, sponsored by Specsavers Healthcall, in association with Access Health & Social Care and the Royal Bank of Scotland, brought together the category finalists from across the East of England region.

The awards are part of the Great British Care Awards, a series of 9 regional awards celebrating excellence across the care sector.  The purpose of the awards is to promote best practice within both home care and care homes sectors, and pay tribute to those individuals who have demonstrated outstanding excellence within their field of work.

Sector support includes the Department of Health, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), Alzheimer’s Society,  National Skills Academy for Social Care and the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) as well as local authorities and commercial organisations.

There are a total of twenty 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, and specialist care in areas such as dementia and innovation.

The gala awards evening started in style with a drinks reception, followed by a superb gourmet dinner with some surprise entertainment throughout.  The awards were presented by entertainer Steve Walls with a surprise appearance of Stavros Flatley from Britain’s Got Talent fame.

The awards support a chosen charity, The Care Workers Charity, the registered charity for the care sector that support current, former and retired care professionals by providing assistance to relieve financial hardship or sickness and also provide advice and guidance on the availability of state support and links with debt counsellors.

Jayne Rawlinson, director of business developmentof Specsavers Healthcall said:

“Specsavers Healthcall is proud to support the Great British Care Awards. It’s important to recognise and celebrate the incredible dedication of people working in the social care sector. Without them some of the most vulnerable people in our society would be far worse off.”

Paul Patarou, divisional manager, Health & Social Care Division, Access Group, said:

“As sponsors of the Great British Care Awards, it’s a great honour for Access Group to be involved in the judging process. With so many fantastic entries it’s clear to see the talent that abounds in the health and social care sector. The Awards provide an opportunity to recognise the hard work and dedication of everyone in the industry from volunteer carers and front line care staff right through to their colleagues who administer and manage the organisation. Working within Access’ dedicated Health and Social Division I often see first-hand the passion and commitment displayed by these incredible individuals; they’re truly are a credit to their industry.”

Bryn Bates, healthcare relationship director at Royal Bank of Scotland said:

“We are delighted to continue our support for The Great British Care Awards in 2014, a great avenue of celebrating the hard work and successes of care across the country. Our support for these Awards is just one way RBS reinforces its’ commitment to the Care sector and those that work within it.”

Lisa Carr, director of the Great British Care Awards said:

“The Great British Care Awards are now in their sixth year and are continuing to go from strength to strength.   We never cease to be amazed with the quality of nominations and this year is no exception.  The two new categories, The Good Nurse Award and The Arco Housing With Care Award, have also proved very popular, demonstrating the significance of integration between health, housing and social care.

“This evening was a true celebration for the unsung heroes of social care, without whom quality care provision in our communities would fail.”

Winners of the Great East of England Awards will go through to one of two national finals for both care home and home care.  The finals will take place at The ICC Birmingham in April and June 2015.

The winners of the Great East of England Care Awards, together with the judge’s comments are detailed below:



Care Employer

Prema Dorai and Adrian Fairburn Cardinal Healthcare

An established family business passionate about delivering high quality personal centred care and innovation through committed and highly trained staff in nursing care and in the community.


Care Home worker

Simon Gooch – NorseCare

Simon puts the service users at the heart of everything he does.  A dedicated individual Simon uses innovative ways to enhance the lives of the people he supports.  Committed to raising awareness of dementia, Simon goes above and beyond and is a true ‘carer’


Home Care Worker

Rebecca Copping – MiHomecare

Despite personal challenges, Rebecca is a committed home carer who raises the bar to assist her service users. Utilises training to ensure the best levels of care and support are provided. Her passion for her work is clearly demonstrated on a daily basis.


Care Home Registered Manager

Tania Sibbald – The Partnership in Care Ltd

Tania shows she truly cares about residents, staff and making a positive impact to the wider sector. She showed to be confident professional and really stood out.


Home Care Registered Manager

Nathalie Gilder – Cambridge Care Company

Nathalie demonstrated a fresh approach and high level of dedication to her job, with an intimate knowledge of her service users and a clear vision of how to keep staff motivated.



Heidi Hovell – Voyage Care

It is rare for someone as young as Heidi to possess a blend of all the attributes required to be an excellent care worker, but she does.


Dignity in Care

Cathy O Brien – The Seckford Foundation

Cathy is a dignity champion, she leads and inspires staff to make dignity ‘second nature’. Service users can be assured in her care settings that dignity and respect are key to the approach. She makes something so important feel so right and so simple.


Dementia Carer

Debbie Day – Churchgate Healthcare

Debbie is a real inspiration to others and is what the meaning of the word care is all about. She lives breathes and eats the whole experience particularly around end of life.


Care Team Award

Penny Overy – Cambridge Care Company

This company emerged from one persons vision that they could ‘do better’. The winner is an inspiring leader with vision and authority, which as resulted in a strong, effective team.



Care Home Activity Organiser

Annette Caminade and Katie Dignam – Quantam Care

Annette and Katie really get in to the swing at their activities- when some of their residents couldn’t go a trip to the seaside – they brought the beach and seagulls to the home. Every 2nd Thursday all the residents fly off to an exotic destination to enjoy music and food from a favourite holiday desination. Well Done!


Ancillary Worker

Mark Smith – The Partnership in Care

This is someone who really adds value to the lives of the customers he works with. He really does go above and beyond. He is innovative and creative and makes things happen.


Care Trainer

Nusrat Choudhary – Sahara Community Care Services

The judges were impressed by the passion and enthusiasm displayed by Nusrat. She has overcome difficult challenges to deliver quality training that meets the needs of both staff and customers.


Frontline Leaders

Gemma Gartside – MiHomecare

Gemma was the unanimous choice of the judges. The values she demonstrated and the passion with which she implements them bodes well for both her team and service users.


Home Care Co-ordinator

Kathryn Marshall – Christies Care

Kathryn blew us away with her innovative approach to the people she supports. Looks to empowering clients through the care supplied. A truly wonderful lady.


Putting People First


A hands-on, close knit team, determined to provide the best possible support to the people they work with. Totally committed to the ethos of PPF at all levels.


Good Nurse

Judith Canterbury – The Partnership in Care

We were so impressed with Judith’s passion, approach and commitment to promoting independence for people living with dementia. She is a beacon of light to all who work in care services.


Arco Housing with Care

Precious Homes

Precious Homes demonstrated a clear focus on service user involvement by including their clients in the design and delivery of high quality housing with care services

Unpaid Carer

Margaret Thomson – MHA


Michelle RobertsonOutstanding Contribution to Social Care

Michelle was short-listed for The Putting People First Award while she was unwell and sadly passed away before the short-list interviews to which she had been invited.

As Branch Manager of the Hadleigh, Ipswich Branch of Allied Healthcare for 5 years, Michelle was a ‘gift’ throughout this time. Near the beginning of her employment with Allied Healthcare a comment was made “can she really be that nice?” All her colleagues in the office and the care team can confirm that over the past five years Michelle was consistently delightful, supportive, totally for others and not herself and a joy to work with. Michelle stood out as someone with the ability to manage an extremely complex and difficult position with great efficiency and quick learning skills which were permanently displayed.

Michelle had the ability to make people feel at ease and managed difficult conversations and situations in a manner that was peace making, fair and reasonable. She was blessed with innate wisdom that enabled her to arrive at decisions and conclusions that were best for the company, those being communicated with directly and for the good of Customers and Colleagues.

During her short illness Michelle came to the office whilst undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy even on the same day as treatments when she continued to take a real interest in everyone, looking for others’ best interests rather than her own.

The nomination for The Putting People First Award and recognising her achievements here today is fitting recognition for someone who has done so much for so many and touched their hearts.