Members of Care UK teams in three of its care homes have walked away with all three category wins in the Care Home Heroes Awards, run by the popular professional publication Caring Times.
John Evans, the maintenance person at the Willows in Middlesbrough, was nominated by home manager Julie Gregory. He is described by his colleagues as a professional, hard-working young man, who always strives to reach the high standards he sets himself.
Julie said: “When John does his daily walk around the home he will often pop into residents’ rooms to ask how they are. He will encourage some to join him and, on one occasion when a resident was a little down, John pushed him in his wheelchair around the home to do odd jobs. The resident loved feeling valued and special and he quickly became calm and at ease.
“John shows great commitment and he is unfailingly hard-working and kind-hearted. And, importantly for any care home, he is valued and trusted by all. We are delighted at his success and we are all looking forward to reading about it in the June issue of the magazine.”
In south London, the team and residents at Heavers Court near Croydon are celebrating the success of carer Graham Clark, who is a firm favourite with all for his upbeat and positive attitude to life. However, it was his remarkable connection with one resident that convinced the judges of his patience and commitment to person-centred care.
Home manager Natasha Leslie explained: “Two years ago we were joined by a resident who doesn’t speak English. This could have led to her becoming isolated, but Graham has taken the time to find ways to communicate with her, making her life more comfortable and enjoyable.
“Her family have provided key words, which he has learnt, and together the two laugh and joke, which makes her feel happy and included. Graham also goes the extra mile to see what additional food she might like, as she can't communicate her preferences directly. She completely trusts Graham and they have a genuine connection that’s lovely to see. His approach also brings her family great comfort.”
Graham and the team are looking forward to sharing the story with the resident and her family when it is published in the summer issue of Caring Times.
The final winner, who will be featured in the October issue, is lifestyle coordinator Julie Robinson. Julie creates activities and enriches the lives of residents at Britten Court. Home manager Chloe Swarbrick said: “Julie is a never-ending source of creative ideas and energy. She gets to know every resident before creating truly person-centred activities.”
Julie has created a recipe club, where residents select recipes that they, their mothers or grandmothers, used to cook. The kitchen team then prepares them for everyone to share.
Chloe said: “She is incredibly caring. One resident was very ill and no longer able to visit the seaside she loved. Julie went to a local beach and collected sand and shells, along with some sea water. She also recorded the sounds of the beach, so she could create a sensory seaside experience for the resident back in their room.”
Julie also helped to create a memory path in the grounds of the Lowestoft home. Every resident is invited to decorate and lay a stone in the path, to show that they are an integral part of the home.
Chloe said: “Julie is a consummate team player and utterly focussed on delivering person-centred care. We are all looking forward to celebrating her well-deserved success.”