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Celebrating Excellence

The annual Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards took place on Friday 12th February and united the voluntary care and support community.

This year, the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards ceremony was broadcast live to our computer and TV screens for the first time due to COVID-19. Despite the change in circumstance, the focus remained on celebrating excellence, innovation and creativity in the voluntary care and support sector.

Dame Esther Rantzen and her daughter, Rebecca Wilcox, returned as long-standing co-hosts of the awards and executed the perfect balance between professionalism and wit as they have consistently done over the years. The entertainment on offer was also clearly not disrupted by the shift online. Those in attendance were treated to a trio of superb performances from the Soundabout Inclusive Choir, supported by the King’s Singers and The Beathovens from Autism Together.

Congratulations to all the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards winners 2020. The winners were as follows:

Compassion Award – Gladys Nkhola, Monet Lodge

The award recognises someone who conducts tireless and unwavering work to ensure those around them feel safe, respected and dignified. Monet Lodge is a small, specialist unit, providing best-practice, personalised dementia care. Staff involve carers in patient care plans and ensure they have easy access to independent advocates, respecting patients’ privacy and dignity in all decision making. Gladys really championed the idea to turn the hospital into a centre of excellence and Gladys places the care of her patients as her foremost concern and continues to positively impact on everyone around her.

Community Engagement Award – Barnsley Dementia Gateway Service

Community engagement is about developing relationships with positive outcomes for all. The Barnsley Dementia Gateway Service, working as part of the Barnsley 3rd Sector Dementia Group, is a two-year pilot service commissioned by Barnsley Council. It aims to bring sectors together to raise awareness of dementia and improve the information, advice and support for people affected by dementia. The Barnsley Dementia Gateway Service was recognised for its consistent and responsive service delivery across its catchment area. The service works with the local authority to ensure that nobody living with dementia slips through the net and misses vital support.

Leadership Award – Paul Bott, Chief Executive, SJOG

Leadership in the sector can be best described as positive actions that improve standards of care and encourage a culture of putting people and quality first. Paul Bott, Chief Executive, SJOG, won not only this award, but the admiration and respect of the audience after expressing how he values the ‘genius’ of his colleagues.

Technology Award – Craig Atkin, Support 4 Independence

Using technology in an innovative and person-centred way to enhance people’s lives is invaluable. Craig Atkin, Support 4 Independence, impressed the judges with his enthusiasm, dynamism and passion towards engaging people to try new ways of doing things. Craig has overseen several user-led projects, most notably an app designed to support the independence of its users. The app is available on the App store and is suitable for those with disabilities, including children. The app is sustained through a small charge and all the money made goes back into improving the lives of those it supports.

Creative Arts Award – Demelza, Hospice Care for Children

Using the arts to engage with vulnerable people holds crucial importance in managing quality of life. Those intertwining the arts amongst regular service provision deserve special recognition and that’s exactly what Demelza, Hospice Care for Children, achieved by winning this award. The use of art in hospice care provides a beacon of hope in what can be, at times, a deeply sad setting. Demelza’s uplifting work to inspire creativity in children exemplifies the sector’s values.

Collaboration (Integration) Award – Project Collective, Options for Supported Living

Another key value of the sector is that of collaboration and integration – when organisations work together to deliver services that could not be achieved otherwise. Project Collective, a group of six organisations working together to engage adults with learning disabilities in Liverpool, came out on top in this category, shining a spotlight on how collaboration can transform activities and build long-lasting connections.

Dementia Care Award – Music for Dementia

Music for Dementia pipped the competition to the post in this category through its inclusive and accessible offer at a national level. Music for Dementia launched m4d radio in June 2020, five stations bringing meaningful music direct to the homes of people living with dementia and their carers. The station has been fully funded by Music for Dementia, providing a free 24/7 service.

Music for Dementia champions music as the soundtrack to our lives. It aims to enrich the lives of people living with dementia and their families by evoking memories associated with music, particularly when communication may break down.

Innovative Quality Outcomes Award – The Care Workers’ Charity

COVID-19 has demanded innovation from almost all those involved with delivering services. To facilitate this, The Care Workers’ Charity has raised over £2 million to support care workers in need of financial support during lockdown.  The COVID-19 Emergency Fund has supported care workers with grants of up to £2,000 each for funeral costs, shielding, childcare, rent, car repairs, living costs and more.

Contribution to Sector Development Award – St Luke’s Hospice Harrow & Brent

St Luke’s Hospice has developed a model of care which is shaping the sector. The St Luke’s Palliative Helpline (Pall 24) is available to patients, carers and healthcare professionals who need advice and support regarding end-of-life care. Pall 24 provides advice and a co-ordination service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Direct care can also be delivered through their rapid response team. St Luke’s has been working closely with the London ambulance service.

End of Life Care Award – Martin House Hospice Care for Children and Young People

Martin House stood out from the other finalists thanks to outstanding dedication to lasting pastoral care, from anti-natal referrals through to bereavement and counselling support. The care at Martin House is holistic and family centred. The team offers flexibility and choice in its care and recognises the importance of family.

Campaigning for Change Award – Intergenerational Music Making – Care to Create

Intergenerational Music Making bridges the gap between generations through the arts and its response to COVID-19 landed the project its recognition in this category. By mixing digital and non-digital home activities underpinned by music and performance, the charity has reduced feelings of distance brought on by the pandemic. From community think tank sessions, steering groups, to coffee and chat mornings.

Making a Difference Award – Kaye Wright – Friends of Dorset Care Leavers

The final award of the ceremony was dedicated to making a difference. In what seems like an avenue with endless possibilities, Friends of Dorset Care Leavers targeted an untapped area with enormous room for growth, building trust between adults and vulnerable young people leaving children’s services. Kaye’s enthusiasm and personal commitment has meant that, financially and organisationally, something sustainable has been formed that can be taken forward by others.

Lisa Werthmann, Director of Creative Operations at Care Management Matters, said, ‘We were absolutely delighted that we could still deliver the greatly anticipated Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards. It’s so important, especially during these challenging times, that we continue to recognise the achievements and contributions made by the voluntary care and support community. This year’s event demonstrated what we can deliver when we join forces, think proactively, and put people at the heart of care.’

Liz Jones, Policy Director at The National Care Forum, said, ‘The NCF team shared an inspiring and uplifting morning celebrating the amazing creativity and innovation happening in the third sector to support people who live and work in care. The Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards highlight the incredible breadth and diversity of the sector. Congratulations to all the winners!’

Thank you to our sponsors

Our thanks go to the ceremony’s headline sponsor, Markel, without whom, the event would not be possible and Everylife, who sponsored the technology award. Our thanks are extended to the National Care Forum, Learning Disability England, the Care Provider Alliance, the Association of Mental Health Providers and VODG for their continued support of the awards. See you next year!

Did you miss the event? watch the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards ceremony here on YouTube.

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