National home care provider Bluebird Care has recognised the bravery and heroism of its team members during the COVID-19 pandemic in a dedicated awards ceremony.
The Bluebird Care COVID Heroes Awards 2020, which replaces the annual Bluebird Care Awards this year, acknowledges those who have gone above and beyond to support both their customers and colleagues throughout the ongoing crisis.
Three winners were announced from a shortlist of 15 members of staff during a virtual ceremony on November 23. They are: Kerry-Louise McGinn from Bluebird Care Stratford and Warwick; Cheryl Beard from the South Gloucestershire branch; and Caitlin Bradley from Bluebird Care St Helens and Warrington.
Kerry, a director of care, was recognised for ensuring that her team always felt supported and appreciated. She put together care packs for her team to boost morale and initiated a virtual coffee and catch-up sessions, as well as quizzes over Zoom to help staff keep in regular contact and support one another.
Kerry also connected with a local counselling company who agreed to offer free counselling to the team. When one of the team sadly lost her father during the pandemic, she was able to offer them free-of-charge support with the counselling service.
Tim Roberts, director of Bluebird Care Stratford and Warwick, said: “Kerry is a truly exceptional leader and is the type of manager most people could only dream of having. She recognises the importance of her team and empowers them to strive for excellence in everything they do.
“She has such incredible energy and passion for our service, it reaches the hearts and minds of not just our staff, but also our customers. Her passion and track record of success deserve to be recognised with this prestigious award.”
Care manager Cheryl Beard, who has worked at Bluebird Care South Gloucestershire for 18 months, was praised for her ‘can-do spirit’ and ensuring all customers remained COVID-free.
Cheryl remained in the office when many people worked from home to lead from the front, despite having people in her own household who were instructed to shield.
Her personal and professional sacrifices were commended by all of her team, and while 10 out of 25 of the carers were self-isolating, Cheryl ensured there were no missed visits to customers.
By mid-April, the team were so clear on their objectives that Cheryl had the capacity to switch to business-growth mode. Over the next six months, she was instrumental in doubling the turnover of the business.
Commenting on the award win, Jack Whitfield, managing director of Bluebird Care South Gloucestershire, said: “I personally cannot imagine a more impressive display of skill, effort and attitude sustained over such a long time in the face of so many challenges. Many, many people owe her a great deal and we are honoured to have Cheryl leading our team. You are so deserving of this award Cheryl – congratulations.”
Local training manager, Caitlin Bradley, was also named a COVID Hero in the virtual awards ceremony.
Caitlin was nominated for the outstanding work she has done in keeping staff training up to date to maximise protection for Bluebird Care customers.
She has ran socially distanced training sessions, and has used video calls and pre-recordings of herself to ensure the team keep up with the latest COVID-19 guidance. Caitlin is also Bluebird Care Warrington’s Health and Safety officer, and has designed Covid-19 risk assessments and a ‘Covid Evacuation Kit’ to compliment this guidance.
Commenting on the achievement, she said: “I was so humbled to find out I had been nominated as one of Bluebird Care’s Covid Heroes. We are all one big team here at Bluebird and to me, I’m just doing my job. It’s been such a nice surprise during a time that has been so different.”
Hayley Allen, registered manager of Bluebird Care St Helens and Warrington, said: “When I heard about the Covid Hero Awards, I had no doubt that Caitlin would be my nomination. It’s been amazing to see her grow and develop from her role as a carer up to her current position as training manager.
“She’s always smiling, laughing and does everything she can to make sure our staff are trained above the industry standard, even in these strange times. She’s kept up with everything and kept everybody motivated to be the best we can be.”
Caption: (L-R) Kerry-Louise McGinn, Cheryl Beard and Caitlin Bradley.