2021 LEADERS IN CARE AWARDS SHORTLIST: Business Initiative of the Year


This award recognises providers that have come up with creative ways to support staff and improve outcomes for individuals over the past year.

Examples of award-winning business initiatives include projects that tackle loneliness, improve staff training, ensure safe hospital discharge and support staff wellbeing.

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

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Home Instead – Partnership Programme

One of the strategies introduced by Home Instead this year is the adoption of a dedicated Partnerships Programme, led by Sarah Williamson, who sits within the company’s marketing department. Sarah and the team recognise how working with people who have different perspectives or areas of expertise can result in better ideas and outcomes. The first partnership that Home Instead has entered into during the past year is Parkinson’s UK. This aims to ensure people living with Parkinson’s, and their families, are able to access specialist home care to allow them to remain living independently at home. Through the partnership, Home Instead will offer Parkinson’s UK an expert view of home care and how it can provide a safe place for people with a Parkinson’s diagnosis to live well. Caregivers will also receive specialist Parkinson’s UK training. The second partnership is with Barclays Digital Eagles. Through this, Home Instead is giving its care teams access to online digital training through a suite of online learning tools. Finally, Home Instead has joined forces with Boots UK to become the first home care company to be listed in the Boots Health Hub, which connects users to doctors, therapists, dermatologists and other health and social care providers.

Kingsway Care – Community Spirit

Kingsway Care, a home care provider based in Brighton and Hove, was set up one year ago, in the middle of the pandemic. Despite having to wait until January 2021 for CQC approval this didn’t stop the company from devising imaginative ways to combat loneliness and isolation in the local Sussex community. Over Christmas, the provider organised free online parties and hosted virtual pantomimes and festive competitions. It also created strong ties with the community by sponsoring local charity Food & Friendship Luncheon Club to tackle loneliness; carrying out volunteer care work with Age UK and Rainbow Hub, a local point of contact for LGBT+ people; and establishing Kingsway Coffee, a community hub for carers and clients. It also appointed staff member Katy as Kingsway Care’s Disability Champion to create social activities for young people with disabilities within the local community.

Respectful Care – Free Socials/Staff wellbeing

Over the last 12 months, Respectful Care, a growing home care provider with five branches across the East Midlands, has launched a ‘Free Socials’ initiative, which sees the business treat clients to an excursion of their choice. Each month, the business treats one lucky service user, chosen at random, to a two-hour trip. One of the first lucky recipients of a social excursion was client Audrey, who was surprised with a trip to Beeston by her carer. A fan of the area – but not having been able to visit for many years, Audrey was delighted to return and celebrated with a cup of coffee at one of her favourite cafes. Coming out of the pandemic, Respectful Care has continued to demonstrate an outstanding commitment to its workforce by appointing a Welfare Liaison and Mental Health First Aider to support staff after recognising the effects of COVID-19 and pressures placed on carers. Sally Wells, who has been working in the care sector for 15 years, has stepped into the role in a move that will support the branch and its 80 employees by offering an increased focus on their wellbeing.

Right at Home (GF) – Friends of Right at Home

At the start of the pandemic, Right at Home Guildford & Farnham quickly identified a need for additional support for vulnerable people in the community and developed the Friends of Right at Home voluntary service. Within a few weeks, the service recruited 176 volunteers. Each volunteer was interviewed, trained and DBS checked and the local council’s Coronavirus Support line quickly started directing those in need to the provider. The volunteers shopped for over 130 people per week during lockdown and offered phone companionship to 36 people. Right at Home used its Direct Debit system to enable the volunteers to do their shopping without cash changing hands, which increased safety for service users. Right at Home GF also saw an opportunity to make a difference to people’s lives when all charity lunches for the elderly were cancelled. Christmas 2020 saw 200 Friends of Right at Home deliver a portion of their own, home-cooked Christmas meal to 108 vulnerable, isolated people on Christmas Day. The provider also created care packages and worked with the local Waitrose to donate Christmas puddings for each dinner. Also during 2020/21, Right at Home GF led the Farnham Dementia Action Alliance, carried out community health checks and provided care training for clients’ families in their homes.

Visiting Angels – Care Fest/AngelCare

Earlier this year, Visiting Angels, a home care provider with 13 offices across the UK, began work on a nationwide initiative, AngelCare. This is a caregiver welfare programme, offering caregivers unlimited access to a host of supportive resources, including grief therapy, and encompasses a smartphone app that allows caregivers to anonymously speak with other caregivers around the nation about their own experiences. The new scheme was announced to the network in August 2021, before being piloted in the provider’s Sheffield office, with a planned launch for December this year. The last 18 months has taken a toll on caregivers, so with this in mind managing Dan Archer hosted Carefest, a fun festival-style event, with live music acts and food trucks. Hosted in July this year, the event was held in celebration and appreciation of staff members’ dedication and commitment. Dan extended the invitation to all local NHS and frontline staff, including the team working at the vaccination centre in Chapeltown, near Sheffield.

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

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Sarah Clarke

The author Sarah Clarke