The finalists of the Wolverhampton Cares Awards have been congratulated by the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Services. The winners of the inaugural event, organised by the West Midlands Care Association and sponsored by the council and the Wolverhampton Cares campaign, were announced at a ceremony at Grand Station.
It was held to recognise the efforts of the Adult Social Care workforce within the city, both during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. There were four awards categories, with cash prizes for finalists who work for residential care providers or in domiciliary care.
Winners in the Carer Award category, to recognise the skills and empathy required to deliver true person-centred care, were Shevaunne Bennett-Blair (Aspen Lodge Residential Care Home) and Lynn Bermingham (Goldcrest Healthcare), in second place were Julie Hamilton (Aldergrove Care Home) and Gedi Gedi (Goldcrest Healthcare) and third were Rachel Boden (Goldthorn Lodge Ltd) and Audrey Katena (Vicarage Homecare Ltd).
The winner of the Registered Manager Award, presented to an individual who has demonstrated high levels of expertise and exception skills in managing complex businesses and teams, was Aeon Anderson (African Caribbean Community Initiative), second was Balver Bisla (Aspen Lodge Residential Care Home and The Leylands Residential Care Home) and third was Laura Holland (Select Healthcare – The Coach House). The award for Deputy Manager/Senior/Team Leader went to Jackie Smith (Wentworth Lodge Residential Home), with Lorna McKetty (Atiba House, Omari Housing) second and Carol Shields (Forforte House) third.
And the Wolverhampton Cares Award for Other Support Staff, which recognises the contribution that non-frontline staff such as cooks, garden staff, administrators and activity coordinators make to the care business and the quality of service users’ care, was presented to Sarah Dixon (Goldthorn Lodge Ltd) with Mandy Jones (Aspen Lodge Residential Care Home) in second place and Linsey Mitchell (The Leylands Residential Care Home) third. Meanwhile, three special awards were presented by the West Midlands Care Association – the Outstanding Contribution to Care Award for Patricia Haywood (Inspirations Residential Care Home), a Lucky Dip Prize Award to Helen Jones (Beacon Centre) and a Special Award in Care to Yvette Solomon (City of Wolverhampton Council).
Councillor Linda Leach, Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: "We should all be incredibly proud of the work of adult social care staff in our city, and the Wolverhampton Cares Awards was a great way for us to show our thanks for their efforts, day in and day out. I would like to congratulate the winners and indeed everyone who was either nominated for, or shortlisted for, an award – you should all be incredibly proud of your achievements.”
Jamie Bloomfield, Operations Officer for West Midlands Care Association, said: “We were delighted to host this exciting awards ceremony, on behalf of the City of Wolverhampton Council, for the adult social care sector in Wolverhampton. It was an opportunity to reward those who have worked so tirelessly throughout the Covid period and continue to do so.
“It was a fantastic evening at Grand Station, with awards and cash prizes presented, guests enjoying a three-course meal and then having the chance to party afterwards!" Wolverhampton Cares was launched last year to help the city's vital health and social care sector through another difficult Covid-19 affected winter and beyond.