Judges were impressed by the level of all the homes that made the final shortlist but, in the end, choosing Colne House was their unanimous decision. They were totally won over by the picture painted by home manager Gina Dennison of a home packed full of life, laughter and love. Colne House also got the best possible testimony from the people who really count, the families of residents.
Wendy describes herself as a hands on manager who likes nothing better than being on the shop floor as a nurse on duty. And it is that passion and commitment that she has brought to her role every day since Decoy Farm was opened in 2008. She has gone on to shape a winning team who have achieved some remarkable results in transforming the lives of young people with learning disabilities.
Lorand joined the team at St Clements Nursing Home, in Norwich, in August last year. His larger-than-life character has helped him quickly adjust to life in England since moving from his homeland in Romania and he has become a linchpin at the home. He is immensely popular with colleagues as well as residents and their families and his powerful personality came shining through in front of the judges.
In just two years, Nikki has become a key member of the caring team at Depperhaugh. And according to her colleagues, she is unerringly positive and cheerful and always has time to help fellow staff members, residents and visitors.
The award reflects the important part Leanne has played in the success story at Kirkley Manor since she came on board in 2012. Leanne is described by her colleagues as bubbly and friendly. Her workmates also pay her the ultimate compliment when they say: “If you want something done, go to Leanne. Her hardworking ethos really rubs off on the staff around her.”
Tania is certainly a woman of many parts: clown, artist, gardener, joker, shopper, friend! For those who don’t know, that’s the job description of a top class activities co-ordinator. And in less than a year at Oaklands, Tania has spread so much happiness she truly deserves to be recognised.
Well done Alan for bringing Master Chef to Kingsley. It’s certainly not Hells Kitchen at Kirkley Manor for Alan’s colleagues say the atmosphere in the kitchen when he is working is a fun and warm place to be. He is known for going the extra mile to make sure residents have a healthy and balanced diet and has won particular praise for his work in improving soft and pureed diets.
Helen Gosling, home manager at Oaklands, has been heavily involved with Kingsley’s person centred dementia care philosophy from the very outset. One of the people who nominated her paid her the ultimate compliment by saying, “I would be happy to leave a member of my family in Helen’s care.” Allison Edwards, a senior support worker at Downham Grange, has been with Kingsley less than a year but colleagues recognise the way she brings calm to a busy dementia unit. Judges were particularly impressed to hear how she makes sensory equipment for her residents in her own time.
Katherine joined Kingsley as an administration assistant in 2007 but her energy and enthusiasm swiftly marked her out as a future member of the company’s operations team. She was appointed as a management trainee last year but that has not stopped her rolling her sleeves up and getting stuck in – even joining support workers on the night shift.
All the staff recognise the IT manager as Kingsley’s Mr Fix it and one colleague remarked on his amazing ability to “solve my IT problems without making me feel like an idiot!”
One of the staff who backed Jamie said: “He’s not just the boss, he’s your greatest ally and support.” Another colleague describes him as Kingsley Healthcare’s greatest ambassador.
Kim is a senior support worker at Timperley and is described by her colleagues – who voted for her in vast numbers it must be said - as “amazing with families and health professionals especially during difficult times”. She says her biggest virtue is that she likes to make people smile.
Carley swapped Liverpool for Lowestoft when she joined the company in March to become manager of Kingsley’s largest home Kirkley Manor. She wins the directors’ award for operational experience. Jill has remained a reassuring presence as manager at Allonsfield House for 20 years and it is that stickability that has won her the Directors’ Award for Loyal Service.