Thursday 19th November saw over 300 of the very best in social care attended a glittering awards ceremony at Cheltenham Racecourse for the finals of the Great South West Care Awards, where the category winners were announced.

The Great South West Care Awards, sponsored by Access Health & Social Care 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, 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.

The gala 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 wasGrease and 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.”

Sean 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 West Care Awards will go through to the final at Birmingham’s ICC in Spring 2016.

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


Care Employer Award

Steve and Una Mills, DoCare

DoCare was set up through personal experience and the husband and wife team were determined to be innovative and influence care provision no only in their area but nationally.  They are proud of their transparent and inclusive business model.  Their commitment made them easy winners.


Care Home Worker

Robert Lawrence, Homes Caring for Autism

Robert was nominated by his work colleague following Robert carrying out CPR after he suffered an arrhythmia which stopped his heart beating. Roberts quick intervention, professionalism and general ‘can do’ personality have transformed the lives of many people in the home.


Home Care Worker

Pat Darr, Somerset Care

Pat is a passionate and dedicated care worker who strives to ensure dignity, independence and respect is at the forefront of person centred care.  As one service user put it, “when you come in the sun comes out!”  Well done Pat!


Care Newcomer

Joe Moore, My Care Ltd

Inspired by the loss of his grandmother Joe joined the sector just 3 months ago.  In a short time he has demonstrated incredible passion and dedication for improving the lives of the people he supports.  An inspirational and worthy winner.


Care Home Manager

Theresa Silverthorne, Care & Support West

Theresa has dedicated the past 20 years to Hengrove Care Home.  Her passion and commitment to her staff, service users and their families ensuring an excellent quality of life is outstanding.


Home Care Manager

Becks Symes, Bluebird Dorset

Becks is a young registered manager who’s motivation and drive has seen her develop from support worker to her ‘dream’ job.  The judges believe Becks has a promising career ahead of her and social care has gained a star!


The Nutrition & Hydration Award

Annette Fleet, Pilling Care Homes

Annette is passionate about caring through nutrition.  She will go above and beyond to ensure meal times are an enjoyable part of the day.  Annette has a pro-active approach to ensuring even the most complicated diets are catered for to the full.


The Dignity in Care Award

Susan Wills & Claire Foale, Pilling Care Home

Dignity is engrained in all daily practices at Pilling.  Innovative, pro-active and thoroughly passionate about providing person-centred care for residents at the end of their life. Inspirational!


Dementia Carer Award

Anthony Haigh, Order of St John

Anthony has made a bit impact in a relatively short time.  He has established great links with the local school and community.  Anthony words hard to treat everyone as an individual.  His passion for his job is infectious.


Care Team Award

Coehourse, Voyage Care

This was a very difficult decision as all candidates were excellent.  Sue and Alex really shone with their ability to work within a team as well as supporting colleagues and delivering excellence. In their words, “It’s a home.  Sometimes it goes pear-shaped – that’s okay – that’s what home does!”


Care Home Activity Organiser Award

Rebecca Timms, RMBI

Rebecca is proactive in ensuring activities are meaningful and person centred.  She plays a big part in fundraising initiatives and goes above and beyond to ensure residents wellbeing is at the heart of everything.


Care Innovator Award

Jane Bell, Shared Lives South West

The Shared Lives Placement Mum & Toddler Self Adoption Plan is a pioneering service that supports parents with a learning disability to keep their families.  A fantastic innovation!


Frontline Leaders

Emma Lewis, Cream Care

We found Emma to be a true leader.  She truly believes ‘you are only as good as the people you work with’.  Emma feels she is allowed to be creative that enables life to be interesting for residents and staff.  It is her experience and calming approach that made her stand out.


Home Care Coordinator

Kate Townsend, Do-Care

Kate’s attitude and empathy to her service users  and staff was evident.  She is a warm and caring individual with a focus on making it work for all.


Putting People First Award

Susan Wills, Pilling Care Homes

A very positive lady who is committed to putting the people she support as the forefront of her service.  Her little star ‘Trish’ and her team, together have made a positive experience and a home for all.  ‘A beautiful lady’


Unpaid Carer

John Watson

John has given up his job and many personal sacrifices to be a full time carer to his fiancé.   In her words, “Without John I would be totally housebound and incapable of looking after myself.   Even though we are a couple he has been more than  fiancé to me. I owe him so much”


Outstanding Contribution to Social Care Award

Richard Smith, Homes Caring for Autism

Richard is as passionate about the company and providing high quality care and support to individuals now as he was from day one, in 2004.

He still makes time to meet and greet each new member of staff  as well as communicating with longer serving  staff on a regular basis.

Richard is dedicated to ensuring the people within Homes Caring for Autism have independent, fulfilled lives, where their choices and rights are respected and promoted.

Richard is willing to be hands on as required; even taking the time to visit individuals who do not have family on Christmas Day.

Richard’s positivity and enthusiasm for supporting individuals shines through and is a great inspiration for others to do the same.