The worthy winners of the 2020 Care Heroes Awards, hosted Home Care Insight and Care Home Professional, have shared their reactions after triumphing in last week’s virtual celebrations.
Nassrat Bi, a lead care assistant with Bluebird Care (Birmingham East and North); Good Oaks Home Care (Reading and Newbury); and Buckinghamshire-based Ashridge Home Care came out on top in the hotly contested home care categories.
The winners were selected from a group of five outstanding finalists in each category by our distinguished panel of judges: Professor Martin Green, CEO of Care England; Vic Rayner, executive director of the National Care Forum; Kathryn Smith, CEO of the Social Care Institute for Excellence; and Dr Jane Townson, CEO of United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA).
Nassrat, who took the prize in the Individual category, was described by Professor Green as representing the “very best qualities of social care staff”.
The judges recognised Nassrat for showing real professionalism and commitment, which was demonstrated when she supported two people with end-of-life care in their own homes, at a time when she was going through her own personal tragedy.
Reacting to the news of the win, Nassrat said: “I am overwhelmed with the announcement of winning the Home Care Hero (Individual) Award. This award reaffirms the hard work myself and the team have endured in these testing times. I am grateful to be recognised for my sheer determination I have put in, hopefully aspirational for my children who look up to me.
“Losing my father to this virus put everything into prospective, that compassion and empathy are the fundamentals to the care I give to my clients. Thank you to the judges who voted for me, greatly appreciated.”
Sue Manickam, director of Bluebird Care Birmingham East and North, said: “We are truly honoured that Nassrat won this award. We were emotional when the winner was announced as her hard work and the passion for delivering high quality care has been recognised and appreciated. We are grateful for the judging panel and Home Care Insight for selecting Nassrat – we cannot thank you all enough for showcasing the real ‘heroes’ from the community.”
Good Oaks Home Care triumphed in the fiercely contested Team category, which honoured care professionals who pulled together to not only ensure the safety of their clients, but also to support each other’s wellbeing during a time of crisis.
Good Oaks stood out for responding quickly to the changing circumstances around COVID-19 and offering services that would enable people to leave hospital and be supported in the own homes.
The judges noted how the organisation also understood that supporting their teams was essential in delivering good quality care to their customers.
Vic Rayner, executive director of the National Care forum, said: “There was an excellent response to the pandemic. I was particularly impressed by the range of support for clients, use of technology and flexibility for staff to plug the many gaps for people that lockdown brought around shopping etc. I was also impressed by the fact that the owners went out and did the shopping for isolating staff.”
Reacting to the win, Ingrida Savickaite, director of Good Oaks (Reading and Newbury), said: “I am over the moon! I am really proud and happy for my team. It is brilliant for our team to be appreciated in a major award win like this, because so often the role home carers do is underappreciated.”
Ben Ashton, director and co-founder of Good Oaks Home Care, said: “I couldn’t be prouder of the amazing team at Good Oaks Reading for being selected by such a prestigious panel of judges as the Home Care Team of the Year.
“In such a difficult and uncertain time the team pulled together and did amazing things for their clients, community and each other. Everyone across our franchise network is delighted for them.
“We want to extend a massive thank you to Home Care Insight for showcasing the positive achievements of the care heroes of the coronavirus pandemic. It means so much to everyone involved.”
Live-in care provider Ashridge Home Care took the prize in the Innovation category, which recognises teams who have come up with creative ways to ensure that service users continued to receive outstanding care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trudi Scrivener, managing director of Ashridge Home Care said: “Winning this prestigious award makes me immensely proud. These awards mark the success of the whole team, who show absolute dedication and commitment to providing outstanding home care. They were 100% committed to ensuring that carers were looked after and motivated so they in turn could ensure our clients were happy and safe.
“The ideas and outside the box thinking was truly inspiring and we will continue many practices even once this pandemic is over. To be recognised by an award is such great news amidst a tough time for everyone working in frontline services. Our focus now is to continue to support as many people as possible who want to remain in their own homes.”
To view the winners reactions to the Care Home Hero Awards, click here.