RCS Stars 2019 | Care UK

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Every one of us makes a difference

Care UK’s RCS Stars awards celebrate the hard work, talent, commitment and achievements of our colleagues nationwide. Once again we had a phenomenal response receiving over 1,600 nominations from colleagues, relatives and professionals.

The 18 categories have each been created to showcase how every one of us makes a difference to the lives of those we support. Congratulations to all of our finalists and winners!

RCS Stars 2019
Home of the Year Home of the Year

Home of the Year

Clara Court and Cheviot Court

It wasn’t easy deciding on one winner for this year’s top award so judges presented it to two homes.


As an award winning home, Clara Court continuously think of new ways to improve and innovate to enable residents to lead the most fulfilling lives possible. Residents and relatives are involved in decision-making and the home takes a positive approach to risk-taking, which enables residents - many of whom are living with dementia - to live as independently as possible.


Cheviot Court were recognised at the Caring UK Awards for going above and beyond in the dementia care they deliver, with dignity and respect being the main priority. The home hosts pamper, yoga and meditation sessions to aid relaxation and residents are also involved in daily tasks around the homes too, and have been key in creating new meaningful occupation areas. As a result, residents have a strong sense of purpose, and feel valued.

Nurse of the Year Nurse of the Year

Nurse of the Year

Chad Bain, Ellesmere House

Having only joined the home in September, Chad is already being described as a devoted and inspirational nurse and the one who is always going above what is expected of him. He gets to know each resident very well, treating them as individuals and ensures he communicates regularly with families and friends. His commitment and work ethic are unmatched and his absence is felt when he’s not at the home. Always prepared to offer his free time to support the home, Chad is the epitome of the nurse everyone should aspire to be.

Runners up

Jemma (Sunny) Houghton, Cairdean House

Cristina Tibichi, Franklin House

Outstanding Leadership Outstanding Leadership

Outstanding Leadership

Sharlene Van Tonder, Glastonbury Court and Davers Court

Not all managers could successfully operate two homes – not only has Sharlene managed this brilliantly, she’s created a special connection between the two Suffolk homes. The teams value her input as she always has plenty of ideas to ensure that all residents get the best out of life from living at the homes. She has embedded the culture of the two settings being a home first and a workplace second. Sharlene is dedicated to both homes without compromise and the teams have complete confidence in her management.

Runners up

Chloe Swarbrick, Britten Court

Angela Bookham, Broadwater Lodge

Chef of the Year Chef of the Year

Chef of the Year

Alex Wendling, Lennox House

Alex continues to go from strength to strength. Growing up in France and working in Swedish catering before moving to the UK, he brings wide-ranging experience to the table. Using his knowledge from time spent in kitchens around London before joining Care UK, Alex has been praised for the appetising choices and multi-cultural dishes he offers at Lennox House.

Runners up

Alex Millichamp, Chandler Court

Deborah Moran, Davers Court

Yavor Dimitrov, Highmarket House

Great Dementia Care Great Dementia Care

Great Dementia Care

Hollins Park

As soon as you walk into Hollins Park, you feel the compassion, patience and thoughtfulness of the team there. They strive to deliver the very best in person-centred care and have created a sensory garden in response to the many keen gardeners amongst the residents. They also match residents with key workers who have shared interests and hobbies. They support these initiatives whilst collaborating with local hospitals, mental health services and other organisations in the area to make the best use of their shared knowledge of dementia.

Runners up

Broadwater Lodge

Glastonbury Court

Meaningful Lifestyles Meaningful Lifestyles

Meaningful Lifestyles

Britten Court

Britten Court have been praised for creating meaningful interactions for both residents and day club members by taking time to get to know each of them individually. These conversations bring about ideas for unusual and personal experiences, such as enabling one resident with a need for speed to ride a purpose-built trike, a gentleman to pay a visit to Great Yarmouth race course and another to visit Arsenal football ground. These wonderful experiences could not have happened without the determination and enthusiasm of the Britten Court Lifestyle team.

Runners up

Ellesmere House

Glastonbury Court

Deputy Manager of the Year Deputy Manager of the Year

Deputy Manager of the Year

Maggie Ziemianska, Manor Lodge

Maggie is a hands-on, effective problem solver who will help out in any area of the home at the drop of a hat. She has assisted the manager in pushing the standard of quality from Good to Great, and her desire to always do her best rubs off on to her colleagues. She recognised the benefits that animals can bring to residents so her own dog Toffee is now a regular at the home - he’s brought utter joy to colleagues, residents and relatives. The team say they’re extremely fortunate to have Maggie on hand to drive excellence and help bring the team together.

Runners up

Sarah Watson, Britten Court

Phoebelyn Curtina, Langley Oaks

Team Leader of the Year Team Leader of the Year

Team Leader of the Year

Dandora Olupitt, Heavers Court

With her attention to detail and can-do attitude, Dandora is well respected and appreciated by colleagues and residents alike. She understands the necessity of residents feeling ‘at home’ at Heavers Court and approaches each day with a willingness to do any task that will enhance their lives. Leading the way when starting new projects or working with new systems, Dandora encourages her colleagues to work outside of their comfort zone and to truly embrace the Care UK values.

Runners up

Lyndsey Nash, Mountfitchet House

Melissa Dacunha, Whitby Dene

Apprentice of the Year Apprentice of the Year

Apprentice of the Year

Sarah Watson, Britten Court

The sky’s the limit for Sarah – now that she has completed her level 5 course in Leadership and Management, she’s already looking at additional courses through the Open University to further her education. Her trainer from Lifetime was so impressed with her thirst for knowledge that she was shortlisted for their training award and asked to have her story featured in future campaigns. Her fantastic work ethic is evident in all she does, and her colleagues have taken great pleasure in watching her grow from volunteer hairdresser to deputy manager over the last five years.

Runners up

Charley Robertson, Ventress Hall

Jade Walker, Heather View

Exceptional Housekeeping & Carer of the Year Exceptional Housekeeping & Carer of the Year

Carer of the Year

Kerry Yorkston, Lauder Lodge

Kerry is admired for her patience and good humour as a carer at Lauder Lodge. Nothing is ever too much trouble for Kerry, and her willingness to help others is greatly appreciated. With her cheery and easy-going attitude, residents have only praise for Kerry and consider themselves lucky to be cared for by her. She is an excellent carer with a natural ability to put herself in other people’s shoes.

Runners up

Ecaterina Hanu, Manor Lodge

Maggie Paynton, Highmarket House

Most Improved Home - Whitby Dene Most Improved Home - Whitby Dene

Most Improved Home

Asterbury Place

Asterbury Place takes home this award after demonstrating sustained improvement over the past 12 months. So much so that the home has now received an overall ‘Outstanding’ rating from the CQC. Residents and relatives are very happy with the running of the home, with one relative telling us “The team are dedicated and they know the job. They aren’t working just to get their wage. They are putting their all in. They are lovely staff and they sit and talk to you. I am really impressed.”

Best Dining Experience Best Dining Experience

Best Dining Experience

Mountfitchet House

Mountfitchet House delivers a luxury dining experience with a personal touch. The atmosphere and presentation of the dining rooms are welcoming and residents are encouraged to take their time to enjoy both the food on offer and the social engagement. The team make sure they involve residents in designing the menu and presenting them with fully prepared and appealing meals so that they can look forward to mealtimes.

Runners up

Murrayside

Britten Court

Exceptional Housekeeping Exceptional Housekeeping

Exceptional Housekeeping

Lauder Lodge

Lauder Lodge’s housekeeping team enables colleagues to feel proud of the home they work at by ensuring the home is kept immaculate at all times. Not only that, they spend time chatting with residents and show them the utmost kindness and respect – it’s this approach that is frequently commented upon at relatives’ meetings. The team works extremely hard to keep the home feeling fresh and inviting whilst maintaining the smooth running of the home and its facilities.

Runners up

Pear Tree Court

Ferndown Manor

Maintenance Person of the Year Maintenance Person of the Year

Maintenance Person of the Year

Shawn Lowmass, Broadwater Lodge

Since joining the home in 2015, Shawn has established himself as a hardworking, polite and willing team member where nothing is too much to ask. After a number of successful animal therapy visits at the home, he helped to create Broadwater Lodge’s very own farm in 2018 which homes horses, pigs and goats as well as guinea pigs, chickens and a rabbit! It’s this dedication that supports the residents to have meaningful experiences and maintains great health and wellbeing.

Runners up

Martin Blackmun, Oak House

Robin Tabram, Glastonbury Court

Customer Service Excellence Customer Service Excellence

Customer Service Excellence

Whitefarm Lodge

The home has delivered customer service excellence throughout the year. The 94% relative satisfaction score for treating relatives with kindness, dignity and respect demonstrates their commitment to always going the extra mile to support residents and relatives on their care journey. One relative said "My relative is so happy, when I’m there I can see they are friendly, attentive and kind to her.”

Runners up

Church View

Clara Court

Dementia Champion Dementia Champion

Dementia Champion of the Year

Trudy Jennings, Glastonbury Court

Trudy is regarded as a champion in all areas by her colleagues, residents and their families. She makes it her mission to accurately represent to her colleagues how it feels to live with dementia, so they come away from her training feeling inspired and motivated to come up with new ways to enhance residents’ lives. Described as supportive and a good listener, she is a firm favourite at the home.

Runners up

Sandra Underwood, Britten Court

Allison Brown, Caledonian Court

Sales and Marketing Award Sales and Marketing Award

Sales and Marketing Award

Harrier Lodge and Ventress Hall

Harrier Lodge has been recognised for their initiatives to successfully market the home and deliver excellent customer service. The home is commended for its excellent reputation in the community as a result of the extensive links it’s built. The team always finds ways for residents and the local community to come together for a good cause and have built strong ties with local schools, churches, charities and businesses to take part in activities and fundraising together.


Ventress Hall reach out to relatives and residents in many ways including the use of their social media page to show what they’ve been getting up to and to celebrate colleague achievements. The home is in the heart of the community and has developed strong ties with the Darlington Arts Academy, WI and Rotary – performers and members often pop in to see the team and residents.

Runners up

Mercia Grange

The Burroughs

Administrator of the Year Administrator of the Year

Administrator of the Year

Michelle Middleton, Kings Court

Michelle has been a part of the Kings Court team since the home first opened its doors. In that time, she has built brilliant relationships with her colleagues, residents and their families. Her logical and organised approach to administration tasks is a huge help to the home manager and her ability to learn new systems quickly has ensured accurate record keeping whilst maintaining the high level of service that the home has become accustomed to.

Runners up

Sally Rook, Mowat Court

Caroline James, Clara Court