2021 LEADERS IN CARE AWARDS: Frontline Carer of the Year, sponsored by NDGAI


This award recognises the unsung heroes who went above and beyond to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their clients over the past 12 months, thinking of innovative ways to boost morale and always showing kindness, empathy and dedication.

We are delighted to announce that the 2021 shortlist includes the following names:

Amanda Powell, Bluebird Care Birmingham East and North

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Amanda Powell started work at Bluebird Care Birmingham East and North as a care assistant in May 2019, before being promoted to lead care assistant after one year. Since her first day at work, her commitment and hard work to caring for elderly people has been outstanding. As an example, she has passed her level 2 in end-of-life care, which has enabled her to support families through the most difficult times. Despite being a single mum to a severely disabled daughter who has several health issues, Amanda is fully dedicated to her role and often covers extra shifts without hesitation. Amanda is currently working towards her NVQ3 and is also training newer members of staff on medication administration, basic life support and moving and handling. Amanda is also a Dementia Friend and is supporting customers who have dementia and loss of memory.

Chloe and Lauren Kelly, Connected Health

During the pandemic, two care assistants, sisters Lauren and Chloe Kelly, put themselves at risk by temporarily moving in with client, Laura Magee, after she tested positive for COVID-19. The pair, from Limavady, Northern Ireland, made the move to ensure continuity of care and to safeguard their colleagues from virus exposure. Laura requires 24-hour help and only started receiving home care in August, having spent long periods in hospital. It was when Lauren was in hospital awaiting a package of care that she first met the Lauren and Chloe. The girls were providing care services in the hospital to help with staffing pressures caused by COVID. The nursing staff in the hospital were so impressed with the relationship that Laura built with the Connected Health staff that they approached the provider to take on her package in the community. At the height of her illness, Laura suffered a seizure brought on by a high temperature and needed emergency medical assistance. Lauren and Chloe both gave first aid while waiting for the ambulance and rapid response vehicle. Thankfully, Laura was treated at home and was able to remain there. 

Danuta Markowska, Mumby’s Live-in Care

Danuta’s ongoing commitment to emotional, psychological and physical care for her long-term client of 11 years, Simon, has led her to be recognised in this category. This unusually long-term placement means that Simon, who has MS, benefits from continuity of care and Danuta’s holistic understanding of his care needs. Simon wants to remain independent at home, but initially resisted mobility equipment due to not wanting his home to be like a hospital. Danuta sensitively helped him to mentally adjust to new aids by discussing at length how the equipment would facilitate his independence. With Simon’s lease car soon to be returned, Danuta has also fully researched a new car to suit Simon’s care needs – one that is specifically tailored to support his disability, with a ramp to allow easy access in his wheelchair. Over the course of the pandemic, Simon’s confidence and decision-making ability diminished. Danuta recognises the impact on Simon’s mental health has offered emotional and psychological guidance whilst looking for new ways of supporting him through this difficult time. For example, she has helped him use a click and collect service for his shopping and has taken on the role of managing house affairs, including maintenance.

Laliba Ekeoma, Trinity Homecare

Lalilba has been shortlisted in this category for the compassion and dedication she has shown throughout the pandemic. There has been several times over the last year when care managers have received outstanding feedback about Laliba’s work, most noticeably for her commitment to end-of-life care. One care manager said ‘if I could clone Laliba 10 times, I would’. Earlier this year, Trinity was approached by someone who was arranging her aunt’s care. The woman was nervous about her aunt’s passing and was in need of support. Laliba not only provided outstanding care to the client, but put the family at ease and quelled the negative emotions that they were feeling. Another example of quality care provided by Laliba was when she was appointed to look after a live-in care client with mental health issues. The client was displaying emotions that many carers would find uncomfortable to deal with, but Laliba kept her calm and showed the client that she understood her needs. Since then, the client’s mental health has drastically improved.

Mary Yardley, Caremark Mid Sussex & Crawley

Mary Yardley has worked as a care worker for Caremark Mid Sussex & Crawley since 2008. Sadly, in 2019, Mary was diagnosed with breast cancer and received intense rounds of cancer treatment. Despite this, she continued to work hard every day. When Mary started losing her hair, she was concerned that her clients may get upset, so she decided to wear beautiful scarfs and hats. Mary was happy that this eased the situation and said it made her clients smile every time she visited. As well as working full time for Caremark and receiving cancer treatment, Mary looks after a child with disabilities and has done for many years. She also makes calls in her own time to regular clients and always delivers shopping or medication if needed. If a client has no appetite, Mary will cook them their favourite meal and deliver it to them in her own time to try and entice them to eat. Mary was also appointed an end-of-life carer for a client by their power of attorney. She moved in with the client and cared for them for eight days, ensuring they were never alone and died with dignity.

Mircea Crisen, Right at Home GF

Mircea is originally from Romania and joined Right at Home Guilford & Farnham in January 2021. After working as a visiting carer, he applied for a senior carer role in March. The Right at Home branch initially rejected the application as Mircea’s English was not quite at the level it needed for this role. But Mircea was determined to progress and, after a couple of months of intense home study, he was awarded the promotion. Mircea has been recognised for supporting older male clients – many of whom have been reluctant to have personal care – to get the support they need. He is also an advocate for clients to help themselves and encourages them to make key decisions. Mircea has had a huge impact on many clients, but one in particular has found his support and attitude to be ‘life changing’. Client Mike needs full-time dedicated care due to the spinal injuries sustained in an accident. Life after his accident had been a challenging adjustment, which had left Mike feeling very low. Since Mircea became his carer, Mike has praised him for his punctuality, politeness, knowledge and continual ideas for improvement. Mircea has also been recognised by Mike for spotting health concerns, such as water retention and infections.

Tickets and tables are now available for the Leaders in Care Awards can be booked HERE.

Any companies interested in commercial opportunities surrounding the Leaders in Care Awards should contact:

Josh Waddell
0203 176 5458

Tags : Frontline Carer of the YearLeaders in Care Awards
Sarah Clarke

The author Sarah Clarke