Thursday 3rdDecember saw over 300 of the very best in social care attended a glittering awards ceremony at The Hilton Hotel, Brighton, for the finals of the Great South East Care Awards, where the category winners were announced.

The Great South East Care Awards, sponsored by Access Health & Social Care brought together the category finalists from across the South East 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, The National Care Forum 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.

Thegala awards evening started in style with a drinks reception, followed by a superb gourmet dinner with some surprise entertainment throughout.  This year’s awards theme wasGreaseand were presented by entertainer Steve Walls with an abundance of entertainment from Encore Entertainment.

Paul Patarou, Head of Sales for Access Health & Social Care, said: “We have had the pleasure of being key sponsors of the Great British Care Awards for 2 years in a row. I believe that these events and awards are hugely valuable in highlighting the great work that the care sector delivers and goes a long way in rewarding individual excellence. I am both proud and excited to be able to participate in the coming years’ activities representing Access’ care sector software PeoplePlanner and CareBlox.”

Shaun Turner, Director of The Great British Care Awards, said: “The Great British Care Awards are now in their seventh 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.  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 South East Care Awards will go through to the final at Birmingham’s ICC in Spring 2016.

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


Care Employer Award
Nurse Plus

Pamela Bruce’s focused direction as Managing Director was clear.  A whole team approach to valuing staff and communicating vision and quality was evident.  Listing to both staff and clients has proved key to successes for this organisation.


Care Home Worker Award
Vanessa Howkins, Sanctuary Care

This was a very difficult decision as all candidates were exceptional however Vanessa was inspiring. She believes it is really easy to be very proud of her work and the job she does is always proud to tell everyone about what she does.


Home Care Worker Award
Giles Theodore, Caremark

Giles gave up a promising career in banking for a more fulfilling live caring for others.  He was told by his wife he wouldn’t last a week and 3 years on is changing the lives of others.  He wants to see more physio and exercise daily for clients at home, promoting independence,


Care Newcomer Award
Christal Ripley, Anchor

A dedicated individual who has demonstrated a great compassion for caring.  Christal goes above and beyond to ensure the people she supports remain at the heart of everything she does.


Care Home Manager Award
Lynda Ellis, Barchester Healthcare

An exceptional Manager who leads by example.  She supports her staff to provide person centred care for the residents and often goes above and beyond.


Home Care Manager Award
Sarah Bull, Buckinghamshire Care

Sarah combines years of experience at every level, with innovative ideas and attention to detail to deliver outstanding services using supported and valued staff.


Nutrition and Hydration Award
Stephen Vaughan-Atkins, Signature Senior Lifestyle

This was a difficult decision as all candidates were so worthy but Stephen’s enthusiasm for his role was infectious.  He knew his role, had introduced new innovative was to do things and thinks he is really lucky to work in the care sector.


Dignity in Care Award
Nikki Fermer and Michelle Bryant, Greensleeves

Both Nikki and Michelle impressed the judges with their passion and commitment to ensure dignity, respect and resident choice is forefront of their service.   From skydiving to tattoos, nothing is beyond reach.


Dementia Carer Award
Emma Berwick, Senior Lifestyle

Emma demonstrated a clear understanding of dementia in all its forms.  She has enjoyed working with Bradford Dementia Group and has benefited immensely ahs have her residents.


Care Team Award
Laura Dowd and Elizabeth Long, Moorlands Lodge

Both Laura and Elizabeth inspired the judges with their passion and focus on ensuring residents are Moorlands Lodge are fully supported throughout their lives by a united, professional communicative care team.


Activity Co-ordinator Award
Tamara Juckes, Sunrise

Tamara is passionate about her role she feels so much enthusiasm for her job that she can be overwhelmed, she also says this has made her  a different, better person.  Tamara wants to stay in social care as, in her words, “there is a lot more to learn”.


Ancillary Worker Award
Mandy Loveday, Optalis

Mandy has a level of passion and commitment rarely seen, supporting clients with innovative ideas personalised to their needs empowering them to express themselves.


Care Trainer Award
Tracey Parker, Regard

Tracey’s passion for training ensures that the staff she works with have the skills and knowledge to support the people they care for.


Care Innovator Award
Andy Leach, Buckinghamshire Care

Andy’s passion to develop employment opportunities for people with learning disabilities as a vehicle for raising their status within society was clearly a winning nomination.  Developing people’s skills to give them self worth, job opportunities and inclusion within society can only be commended  as true innovation.


Frontline Leaders Award
Darren Humby, Signature Senior Lifestyles

Darren is a driven, highly motivated and innovative leader in his desire to develop a team capable of delivering the highest quality of care possible.


Putting People First Award
Julie Mays, Voyage

Julie has dedicated her entire working life to caring for others and putting people first.  Through her innovative approach she has dramatically improved the life of her service users.  For example Julie created a special ‘activity apron’ for one resident, helped another overcome a fear of water, to name but a few.


Good Nurse Award
Paulina Meyers, PJ Care

Paulina has such passion, enthusiasm and high standards.   Her attention to detail in supporting he clients and empowering the staff ensure great service is delivered.


Unpaid Carer Award
Jennifer Stevens

Jennifer is a 70 year old volunteer at Larchfield. She has been with us as a volunteer for over 6 years. Following the passing of her mother, who was a resident at the home, Jennifer comes in rain or shine to assist residents with daily activities and mealtimes.

Jennifer has often taken on more responsibility than her volunteer status dictates and is an invaluable member of the team.


Outstanding Contribution to Social Care Award
Steven Hamblett, Supporting Regional Manager, BUPA     

Steven Hamblett has worked in care homes over 20 years, starting as a Care Assistant.

Steven strives to improve quality of life for residents and has displayed an incredible amount of passion for his work.  He is committed to supporting staff to empower residents.

He is a well known figure in his community who acts as an advocate for residents and aims to raise the profile of social care, linking up with other care and health professionals.

Steven is a passionate and dedicated individual and a great ambassador for the sector.