Fantastic care workers took centre stage at the West Sussex Care Accolades - the county’s care ‘Oscars’ - on Wednesday.
The awards recognise the hard work and dedication of people working in a wide variety of jobs in adult social care including dementia care and caring for people in their own homes.
Among those who scooped awards was chef Tom Johns, who works at Ifield Park care home in Crawley.
Tom scooped the Ancillary Worker Award for the amount of time he spends getting to know residents, understanding their dietary needs and what they love to eat. Tom spends a considerable amount of unpaid time sourcing treats for residents and creating special dishes for people at the end of their life, or those in need of building up.
Other winners included 21-year-old care assistant, Jessica Spinks, who works at The Laurels day centre in Rustington. Jessica, who was described as a “special person”, won the Young Carer Award for the commitment she has demonstrated to all the customers who attend the day centre.
The Individual Employers Award was won by Vanessa Bird. Vanessa, who has support needs, receives Direct Payments - cash payments from the council to choose which care services she wants - to employ carers and has helped them develop their careers.
The nine winners were all nominated by their colleagues, with glowing and often moving testimonials from service users and their families.
Care employers and their staff cheered on the winners at a lunch and awards event at Arundel Wetland Centre.
The awards, now in their fifth year, are organised by West Sussex Partners in Care and are supported by West Sussex County Council.
Peter Catchpole, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults Social Care and Health, said: “It’s a great pleasure and a privilege to celebrate the excellent care that goes on in West Sussex. Our care workers are so often unsung heroes. These awards help to raise the profile of adult social care in the county and showcase the good practice of West Sussex care providers as well as promoting the wide range of rewarding employment opportunities that exist within the care sector.”
Chairman of West Sussex Partners in Care, Rosemary Pavoni, said: “We had a tough job this year as the standard of entries was so high. We really feel that everyone is a winner.”
West Sussex Care Accolades 2014 winners:
Winners received a trophy and shopping vouchers.