Winners announced for this year’s Lincolnshire Care Awards

There were a number of winners from the Sleaford area announced at last week’s Lincolnshire Care Awards ceremony.

Helen Reilly (left) receiving her lifetime achievement award. (Kamara photo). EMN-200303-102721001
Helen Reilly (left) receiving her lifetime achievement award. (Kamara photo). EMN-200303-102721001

Hosted by the Lincolnshire Care Association (LinCA), the annual gala award evening in Lincoln’s Assembly Rooms is the chance to honour the county’s best in care and celebrate the contribution of this vital, but often overlooked, workforce.

The Lincolnshire Care Awards were established in 2016 to highlight the hard work and dedication of care workers and managers in Lincolnshire, particularly those who always go above and beyond the call of duty. Finalists were nominated by their service users and their families or by a colleague, with this year’s awards receiving a record number of nominations - more than 100 across 12 categories.

Both winners and those who came highly commended received an engraved award and certificate.

Charli Siddons of the Old Hall, Billingborough gets her Care Activity Organiser Award. (Kamara photo). EMN-200303-102732001

Among this year’s winners were Charli Siddons of The Old Hall, Billingborough, who won the Care Activity Organiser Award; and Helen Reilly, manager of Oakdene care home in Sleaford, who won a Lifetime Achievement Award.

She was recognised for her long service, vast experience and also her input into the task group in getting the Lincolnshire medication policy up and running, also being involved in getting NHS mail into social care with help from a new initiative.

Jilly Hunt, who runs Oakdene’s sister home, Ashdene, said: “Helen is the most kind hearted trustworthy person you can ever hope to meet and after 31 years of service in the care industry is very deserving of this lifetime achievement award. We are all extremely proud of her and know that her husband Ed (who was at the award ceremony) and children feel the same.”

In her nomination she was said to have a wealth of knowledge which she is willing to share and support others less experienced. She goes above and beyond to make sure that her residents are well looked after and that her long standing team are supported - from covering nursing shifts herself to completing the LPZ project and the Gold standards framework.

Rising Star, Julia Padgett of Ashdene care home. (Photo Michael Hunt) EMN-200303-102744001

Helen has worked hard to make sure Oakdene gets a good CQC rating, becoming a safeguarding ambassador and encouraging others to better themselves, having worked her way up from a trained nurse to the registered manager for the last 13 years.

This year, the Rising Star category received so many nominations, LinCA decided to turn the category into its own separate award. Promising junior care workers were set a range of tasks to investigate their strengths and values, as opposed to an intimidating judging panel. Julia Pagett from Ashdene Care Home, in Sleaford, was one of two to get the award having made great strides in her training and willingness to be involved and visit residents out of her working hours since joining the home just a year ago without previous experience. She has visited patients in hospital and even invited one along to her child’s sports day.

The college and the Care Association have been working together to develop the Lincoln Care College, to ensure young people have the skills needed to excel in the health and social care sector.

It took 19 judges to interview the more than 100 nominees put forward for this year’s awards. To decide the winner, judges asked finalists to share a bit about themselves, along with questions relevant to their category.

Coun Patricia Bradwell, Executive County Councillor for Adult Care, said: “Caring for someone or for groups of people is not an easy role to fulfil and requires a lot of perseverance and understanding. Our award winners are fine examples of so many caring staff in Lincolnshire who show real dedication and passion in their work, to ensure that people throughout the county are given the care they need and deserve.”

Melanie Weatherley, chairman of LinCA, said: “The care worker is often undervalued, not seen and definitely underpaid, and it’s good to give them a chance to shine. The Lincolnshire Care Awards celebrate excellence in care. It’s not about employers or care organisations, it’s about honouring dedicated care workers and the difference they make to others every single day.”