Congratulations to all our winners!

Hosted by radio and television presenter, Jo Whiley, the awards were broadcast live via the internet to everyone in the business.

They were an opportunity to celebrate our collective success and achievements during the past twelve months, honouring the performance of some outstanding colleagues with prestigious award titles to say thank you for making a difference.

Award nominations exceeded 400 entries this year, each telling a story of hard work and determination to ensure the people we support can live full and rewarding lives.

Outstanding Achievement Award 2021: Abberdale House, Highlea Care

The monthly Outstanding Achievement Award aims to recognise the amazing contribution of our colleagues or teams, and after judging through the winners over the past year, the team at Abberdale House, Seaham were crowned the overall winners.

Colleagues at Abberdale House, Seaham, were recognised for the care they provided to an individual after he was diagnosed with cancer.

Julie Cowens, Registered Manager

The outstanding care included a reunion with his estranged daughter and arrangements for him to spend Christmas with family.

The team attended his funeral and were touched by the family’s gratitude for everything the service had done.

James Allen, Chief Executive Officer, said: “What the Highlea Care team did for this individual and his family personifies our values of respect and collaboration, putting his requests at the heart of everything they did.”

Their nomination is one that really touched the hearts of every member of the judging panel and we’re extremely proud of everything they’ve done over the past year.”

Manager of the Year Award and Pandemic Star of the Year: Julie Shield, Abbeyvale Care Centre

Julie Shield, who has been the manager at Abbeyvale for 11 years, has always put the wellbeing of the team and people she supports at the forefront of the centre’s individual operations.

She was also named ‘Pandemic Star of the Year’ following a live poll during the event.

This special category was dedicated to, and in memory of, two National Care Group colleagues who lost their lives to Coronavirus.

Julie Shield, Registered Manager

Karen Lewis, Chief Operations Officer, said: “We’re incredibly proud of the work Julie has done over the past year. The nominations detailed how hard she fought to ensure the safety of every single person at Abbeyvale at the height of the pandemic, and the fact that the centre did not have a single coronavirus case is a testament to that.

Making a Difference Award 2021: Kelly Smith, Endurance Care Worcestershire

Kelly Smith, Registered Manager, has been integral to so many of our central projects in the past year but has continued to provide exceptional care to the individuals she supports as well.

James Allen, Chief Executive Officer, said: “At the beginning of the pandemic she spent a significant amount of time securing PPE for the region and implementing other measures to ensure the safety of everyone.

Kelly Smith, Registered Manager

Despite the challenges and pressures presented by the pandemic, her nominations describe how she kept spirits high by organising an ice cream truck and other initiatives for the people she supports, making her a worthy winner of our Making a Difference Award.”

Support Worker of The Year Award 2021: Karen Knight, Cornerstones UK

Karen Knight, Support Worker, has gone above and beyond in her role to deliver outstanding care to the individuals she supports.

The service has benefited from her commitment to care and the passion she shows in her role.

Mike Ranson, Commercial Director, said: “Karen is willing to go beyond the call of duty to ensure a positive impact on the lives and experiences of the individuals she supports and there’s no doubt that she’s a very worthy winner.”

Karen Knight, Support Worker

Newcomer of The Year 2021: Jessica Lewis, Ty Ddol Awel, Integra

Jessica Lewis, Support and Rehabilitation Practitioner, joined the residential service in October last year and has been recognised as one of the group’s newcomers who has embraced her role with true enthusiasm and dedication, despite the added pressures placed on her during the pandemic.

Mike Cleasby, Quality Director, said: “Jessica always strives to support individuals in a way that promotes independence, with an infectious personality and positivity that shines through in everything she does.

Jessica Lewis, Support and Rehabilitation Practitioner

Support Function of the Year 2021: Lizzie Petty, National Care Group

Lizzie Petty, HR Business Partner, was praised for being an invaluable asset ever since she joined National Care Group in July 2018 and for playing a key role in supporting our services during these challenging times.

Claire Leake, People Director, said: “Lizzie always makes herself available and able to support with any query she is approached with, and has offered excellent guidance and a supportive ear at a time when many needed it.

Lizzie Petty, HR Business Partner

Supported Living Team of the Year 2021: Bewdley Grange, Endurance Care

The team at Bewdley Grange, Kidderminster, is made up of six people and led by Team Leader Wayne Richards and Kelly Smith, Registered Manager.

Colleagues at the Supported Living service have been praised for enabling the people they support to live as independently as possible by truly bringing the company value of collaboration to life and delivering outstanding service.

What makes the achievement even more special is that Bewdley Grange was a brand-new service set up in the pandemic with a new team.

Wayne Richards, Team Leader

David Rowe-Bewick, Chief Financial Officer, said: “Wayne, Kelly and their team have done an incredible job supporting people with a wide range of learning disabilities and complex needs.

Feedback from relatives showed that these individuals had never been happier and that they were amazed by the progress they were making in such a short period of time.”

Residential Care Team of the Year 2021: Flat 2, Cauldon Place, Shelton Care

The team at Flat Two Cauldon Place, Stoke-on-Trent, is made up of 20 people and led by Senior Support Worker Matt Burton.

Karen Lewis, Chief Operations Officer, said: “We were very impressed by the work Matt and his team have done over the past year, including providing support to an individual to access the community in what has been an incredibly tough year.”

Team at Flat 2 Cauldon Place

Baby Willow wins our ‘Best Dressed’ competition!

We asked everyone watching to join in the celebrations by getting dressed up for the awards and posting photos of themselves on social media in efforts to win a giant size, exclusive WINNER Dairy Milk bar.

Many took part, posting photos of themselves and the people we support looking fabulous in everything from tiaras to bow ties.

After much deliberation, the judges decided to honour Will Peirce, Service Manager from Affinity Supporting People, for this photo of himself with beautiful Baby Willow watching the awards.

Will Peirce and Baby Willow

Everyone who took part is thanked for putting in so much effort and sure they’ll agree that Baby Willow’s beaming smile had to steal the prize on the night!