At a time when we are all so busy ‘doing’, it is sometimes difficult to find the time to stop, reflect and notice the extraordinary achievements of those around us. What’s more, the social care sector is an incredibly selfless one – some of the people working in it may dodge the unwanted admiration and gushing of praise and put it down to ‘just simply doing my job’.
Events such as the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards ensure deserving winners are rightly given recognition for their projects – the event uncovers excellence, innovation and creativity in the voluntary care and support sector. Yes, we are indeed living in times of uncertainty but, when so much has been put on hold of late, it’s important to remember that kindness and compassion prevails. The inner strength and passion for change that is within so many working in this sector is what the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards truly champion and we invite you to join the community if you haven’t already because, well, there is so much we can be proud of.
On 2nd December 2021, 16 judges joined Team CMM and event sponsors for the finalist judging day – albeit virtually. Some may have envisaged a day packed full of slideshow presentations and whisperings of ‘you’re on mute’. However, it was a day of warmth, joy and emotion.
Joanne Bosanquet, Chief Executive of the Foundation of Nursing Studies, judged the awards for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. ‘It was an utter pleasure and a joy to judge this year,’ she told CMM. ‘I was astounded by the innovation and entrepreneurship of every single entry.’
She added, ‘This was a totally different experience for me. There were no pre-prepared presentations. This experience was so natural and real. I could feel the passion through our relaxed conversations and we all definitely got the very best out of it. I hope our finalists enjoyed it as much as we did. Best of luck everyone. Don’t forget that you are all winners already!’
Like so many of the other judges, Joanne was especially amazed by the true partnership work and participation of service users end-to-end and said that relationships are key to any improvements in care and services. The #StrongerTogether mantra really stuck in the judges’ minds. Earlier on in this issue, we heard from Sarah Maguire, Chief Executive of Choice Support, on safeguarding adults with learning disabilities in care settings. Here, Sarah shares why the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards is such an important event. ‘These awards honour the work of staff who quietly, with no fanfare, carry out work that changes the lives of the people they support. These awards are their recipients – warm, kind and very approachable. They are about people and their contributions, no matter how big or small.’
Passion for change
What really stood out for Sarah in this year’s judging was how the finalists demonstrated the importance of values. Finalists showed the impact that could be achieved with a small amount of resource and a huge amount of passion and belief. Explaining how the finalists achieved this, Sarah said, ‘They laid out blueprints and models that have the potential to transform the way we think about support to people and communities.’
One of the key things that judge Dr Julie Dixon of the Nursing and Midwifery Council took from the judging day was around people ‘doing the walk as well as the talk’. Julie explains, ‘They [the finalists] actually lived their values and this came through in their conversations. Some of those nominated had no idea and were humbled by the experience; others were advocating the work that they had done. I am a registered mental health nurse by profession and am aware of the stigma that is attached to “cognitive impairment” (in all its different forms), so to see people not only advocating for the people who “use” services but to get them actively involved in the award process (testimonials and being interviewed on the day), to speak up for the care they were involved in and had received, is not only good practice but showed the importance of person-centred approaches to care and validated the positive care experiences that they had been working with (I use this expression as they didn’t just “receive” care – but were actively involved in developing and maintaining their care).’
Julie was really moved by the compassion presented by the finalists and said that both staff and service users reflected this, which was evidenced in different ways. Clearly, the judges faced incredibly difficult decisions – there was so much to applaud. Commenting on the experience, Julie said, ‘I felt inspired reading some of the moving narratives. I did the judging over a week and found myself crying (happy tears) at times reading some of the testimonials, with the challenges people face and what had been done to help overcome these. I also used expressions like awesome, inspirational and wow! I had an extremely tough time narrowing down to three winners and I would like to commend all nominees for their ability to be compassionate at a time that has been extremely challenging. Reading all of the applications left me feeling warm and fuzzy on the inside – so thank you.’
Our 2022 finalists
The Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards 2022 finalists are:
- Sandra Yeeles plus tenants, Peel Way Supported Living.
- Gill Booth, St Luke’s Hospice.
- Karen Breakspear, Surrey Choices.
Innovative Quality Outcomes Award
- Yvette Goodman, Outlook Care.
- Phil Gibson, The Life of Opportunity Team, CVT.
- Ambient Guardians.
Community Engagement Award
- Ovacome Community.
- New Beginnings North East.
- The Prospects Trust.
Contribution to Sector Development Award
- Sue Ryder, Neurological Care Centre Lancashire.
- London Homeless Welfare Team.
Creative Arts Award
- Belong and Bluecoat, Where the Arts Belong.
- Intergenerational Music Making, Together with Music.
- Creative Support.
Campaigning for Change Award
- Keep Safe Team, The Grange at Bookham.
- Unfair to Care, Community Integrated Care.
- Daniel Carmel-Brown, Jewish Care.
- Anne Shiels, Surrey Choices Day Services.
- David Higham, The Well Communities.
- Alive Activites.
- What To Do, Community Integrated Care.
Making a Difference Award
- Adopt a Grandparent.
- The Care Workers’ Charity.
- London Homeless Welfare Team.
Dementia Care Award
- Alive Activities.
- Home Support Team at Alzheimer’s Support.
- Kirsty Rushforth, Making Space.
End of Life Care Award
- Jewish Care, End of Life and Palliative Care Team.
- St Luke’s Hospice Community Services.
- Anne Robson Trust.
Collaboration Integration Award
- Wendy Burton, Making Space.
- FCHPSS, St Luke’s Hospice.
- Progress Lifeline, Emergency Home Response Team
We are so excited to be hosting this year’s ceremony face-to-face at The Grand Hotel in Birmingham for the first time. It’s a chance for everyone to get together after such a difficult time apart. This year’s dazzling awards ceremony will be held on Friday 4th March 2022 from 10.30am to 4.00pm. Do come and join us for this wonderful celebration, meet our incredible judges and find out who this year’s winners are.
Stay up to date with events information and book your ticket here www.caremanagementmatters.co.uk/3rd-sector-care-awards