Friday 17th October saw over 300 of the very best in social care attended a glittering awards ceremony at the Old Passenger Shed, Bristol for the  finals of the Great South West Care Awards, where the category winners were announced.

The Great South West 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 south west 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.”

Nick Connors, 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 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 South West Care 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 British South West Care Awards, together with the judge’s comments are detailed below:


The Care Employer Award

Homes Caring for Autism

Richard and Jan, representing homes caring for autism is an extraordinary special company, where they really “change people’s lives.” As a care employer HCA clearly showed that they are inspiring, rewarding and fulfilling employers.


The Care Home Worker Award

Shauna Jeffries – Amethyst Healthcare

Shauna’s positive attitude and passion for what she does everyday shone through. Sauna takes time, not only to listen, but to really hear what residents are saying. Shauna is proud to work with a fantastic team and support fantastic people. Shana your children have every reason to be proud of you!


The Home Care Worker  Award

Huw Davies – Mihomecare

Huw’s passion and dedication to the people he supports is truly inspirational.  Huw goes above and beyond in providing quality care whilst maximising independence and dignity.  For Huw his service users are like family.  An extremely worthy winner!


The Care Newcomer Award

Sarah-Jayne Stilling – Somerset care

Sarah-Jayne is a fantastic ambassador for the care sector. After only a very short time in the sector she has really made a difference to the lives of so many. Always going the extra mile Sarah- Jayne is a great example about what tonight is all about. Well Done Sarah-Jayne.


The Care Home Registered Manager Award

Janet Wilkins – Riversway Care Ltd

Janet’s passion for her role, her residents, staff and the sector is palpable. She views her role as enabling Riversway to be home. She uses ‘the mum’s test’.

The Home Care Registered Manager Award

Emma Lewis – Mihomecare

Emma demonstrated a clear understanding of Home Care Services, being aware of staff and customers’ needs. The judges were impressed with Emma’s passion and skills especially maintaining a quality service and a gelled team during major change from a small company to becoming part of a larger company.


The Home Care Coordinator Award

Kimberley Yeates –  Mihomecare

Kimberley puts her staff and service users at the heart of care provision.  Kimberley’s passion for providing quality care is infectious – the result –  a highly motivated team of like minded care workers.  Well done Kimberley!


The Nutrition & Hydration Award

Annette Fleet- Pilling Care Home

The judges agreed that Annette’s passion and dedication for putting residents first shone through whilst providing a balanced and varied diet for all.


The Dignity in Care Award

Sue Wills and Marie-Claire Foale – Pilling Care Homes

Marie-Claire demonstrated her passion and commitment to giving people a voice at any stage in their live. It is evident, listening to the work undertaken in Lelant, that hours and energy have moved this unit from a clinical, institutional residential unit to a home that meets the needs of the residents irrespective of age or condition. An inspirational project delivered by an inspirational advocate for dignity and respect.


The Dementia Carer Award

Tracy Wright – Somerset Care

Inspiring, talks the talk and walks the walk. Loads by example realises that small things make a difference!


The Care Team Award

Natalie Adams and Emily Spearing – The Old Vicarage

Natalie and Emily clearly and quietly demonstrated cohesive relationships both between themselves as job sharing managers and with their team. Although young they both impressed us with their passion, commitment and length of service in care.



The Care Home Activity Organiser

Marie-Claire – Foale Pilling Care Homes

Although the judges were inspired by all of the candidates. Marie-Claire’s ability to create an amazing experience for each of the residents she supports, as they come to the end of their lives shone through. A truly amazing person and a well deserving winner!



The Ancillary Worker Award

Majorie King – Somerset Care

Majorie is one in a million; her passion is in her DNA! She has commitment; imagination with an aim to ensure everyone has an excellent day. Majorie understands that the day may be someone’s last, her role to ensure that day a happy one, events and food.


The Putting People First Award

Mary Claire Faulkner -Leonard Cheshire Disability

Mary Claire’s commitment to putting people first was outstanding.  She has adopted a pro-active approach to ensure that her service users are able to enjoy sporting and other activities in the community.  By integrating volunteers and staff in the projects Mary Claire has demonstrated her passion to inclusivity and equality.



The Frontline Leaders Award

Kerry Stanley – Somerset Care


Kerry demonstrated clarity on leading and supporting her team thinking outside of the box to meet both her staff team and residents needs. The judges were impressed with how proud Kerry was when saying “ I’m Proud when a crumpled hand is out in mine and I get a wet slobbery kiss. It is a pleasure and a privilege to work alongside and lead my team”



The Care Innovator Award

Richard Ernest – Rempod Ltd

From literally dreaming about developing a ‘Pod’ for dementia sufferers to reminisce, Richard’s dream now travels the UK and abroad within care homes and the NHS. Giving them a chance to experience a day at a vintage cinema or back in their 1960’s living room!



The Good Nurse Award

Abi Bartlett – Housing and Care 21

Abigail is a Dementia Voice Nurse, passionate about working with the individual to obtain the best outcome. She works holistically across a network of teams. On a dry day you may see her cycling between clients, with tic tacs onboard.


The Housing with Care Award

Newlands House – Newlands of Stow

This was a very difficult decision for the judges to make. The judges were very impressed with Newlands vision of an integrated care environment long before. Housing with care hit the mainstream. The care options and personalisation agenda outreached by Newlands was particularly impressive. Well Done Newlands House!


Outstanding Contribution to Social Care

Sue Whittock Knott – Milestones Trust
Now an Area Manager for Milestones Trust, Sue has worked with people with a learning disability and the staff who support them for many many years and in a variety of settings.
Nothing is a problem for Sue. She has a high commitment to the service users and ensures that they are treated with dignity and respect. She challenges any bad practice and ensures that changes are made and has been instrumental in changing services that were institutionalised.
Throughout all of the trials and tribulations of her job Sue always has time for people and maintains a sense of humour and compassion in everything she does.