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Helen & Tom are Great British Care Awards winners!

Helen and Tom are our numbers ones!

Helen Sturgess, Registered Manager of Newfield View Supported Living and Tom Allen, Team Leader from Steps Residential, were worthy winners at the Great British Care Awards Yorkshire & Humberside regional finals on Friday night!

Everyone at National Care Group is super proud of both Helen for winning the Home Care Registered Manager of the year award and Tom for winning COVID-19 Hero! Both nominated by their Regional Operations Manager Charlotte to recognise and celebrate the huge strength they've shown over the past 18 months.

They attended the ceremony with Steps' Registered Managers Rachel and Annette above, who were also shortlisted for the care home registered manager award.

All four are shining examples of the National Care Group company values of Passion, Respect, Collaboration and Empowerment. Demonstrating them every day in the way they care for the people we support.

Helen and Tom now go through to the national finals taking place March 2022.

Read Helen and Tom's award winning nominations below:

Helen Sturgess, Home Care Manager of the Year 2021 Helen joined Newfield in May 2020 during the height of pandemic. Newfield had been rated as ‘requires improvement’ in 2019, and although an action plan was underway, there hadn’t been a consistent manager overseeing the project.

Helen was tasked with completing the plan and providing stability at the service, a challenge during lockdown. Helen maintained a rating of ‘good’ in previous services, so set to work putting experience into practice, using tried and tested ways of working. These included reorganising supervisor teams to ensure clear lines of supervision and introducing new HR processes including colleague appraisals and team meeting matrix, enabling better team leader support in managing their teams plus opportunities for teams to speak up in-line with policy.

She revolutionised training by reviewing the compliance matrix and mentoring her administrator to take ownership to ensure compliancy with mandatory requirements. Helen also identified service specific gaps, including Makaton, and sourced/delivered suitable courses.

Although much of the person-centred care improvements had been actioned, Helen ensured they were being constantly proactive; reviewing work and support plans etc., taking feedback from the people we support, relatives, visiting professionals and the team. The inspection noted communication improvements which were also a theme in the family survey Helen conducted in September 2020, so she set up two new newsletters; colleague + people we support and families - so everyone’s better informed. She introduced a Family & Carers Forum meeting bi-monthly giving families opportunity to ask questions, receive updates, and provide peer support- a big success in better connecting teams and support circles, building stronger relationships.

Tom Allen, COVID-19 Hero 2021 Team leader Tom Allen of Steps Residential, part of National Care Group (NCG), has consistently provided brave and selfless care to the people he supports throughout the pandemic and is a true COVID-19 Hero.

Steps Residential is a quality care service for adults with learning and physical disabilities, based across five homes in the Rotherham area with capacity to care for 26 people.

Early on in the pandemic one home had to go into lockdown. The team were scared and worried because at that stage the virus was new with little information available. Tom bravely stepped up and volunteered to move into the house for the duration of the isolation. He lived there 24/7, sacrificing his family life and placing himself at risk of catching COVID-19.

Whilst in ‘lockdown’, Tom created many activities and opportunities to keep the gentlemen in the house upbeat and active. They played team games, watched sports together and had karaoke nights to name a few.

Prior to lockdown, the group of gentlemen residents all got along okay but due to being able to do activities outside of home, they weren’t truly ‘friends’ and didn’t spend much time socialising. Tom’s activities provided an opportunity for them to bond and as a result they’re now close classing each other as not only friends but family.

In addition to this challenge the Steps suffered many incidents of shortages with above average absence due to shielding, frequently placing strain on the team. Problem solver Tom again stepped up, identifying that staff from a nearby day centre had been furloughed, and approached to offer temporary work at Steps. They successfully joined the team, providing vital cover. These temporary carers were luckily known to the people we support, as they attended their day service, keeping some consistency through familiar faces.

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