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Celebrations as Care UK carers reach the finals of national awards

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Care UK carers have reached the finals of the two most prestigious care awards in Britain – the National Care Awards and the National Dementia Care Awards.

Both awards seek to celebrate the very best in long-term care and finalists are interviewed by a panel of independent expert judges about their work and innovations they have brought to caring in their category before a winner is announced.

At the 16th National Care Awards Denise Sewrey, deputy manager at Care UK’s Jubilee House, has reached the finals of the Dementia Care Manager category for her work creating an outstanding yet homely environment for people living with dementia.

Home manager Totka Zhelyazkova said: “Since Denise joined us just over a year ago she has helped to transform the home inside and out.

“The outside of the home is looking beautiful with raised flower beds that enable residents to do some gardening and the fountains have made the gardens very popular with residents this summer.

“Denise also supported care colleagues to personalise and signpost residents’ rooms and supported activity co-ordinators to print pictures of areas of local interest as well as of places she knows. Residents’ life history books are important to them.”

Denise said: “I love my job. Each day I get to hear about our residents’ lives, their interests and their opinions on lots of subjects. I never know from one day to the next what awaits me and that is a very rewarding challenge.”

Outstanding care and a passion for dignity and respect led judges to select Joana Martins, a nurse from Care UK’s Laurel Dene care home, to joins Denise in the finals.

Joana enthused: “I was delighted to hear that the judges had selected me to go through to the finals of the Registered Nurse category. I love my job as it gives me the opportunity to improve people’s wellbeing, and I am fortunate to work with a dedicated and committed team.”

Care UK also has two finalists in the 5th annual National Dementia Care Awards. Chris Belton, a health care assistant at Care UK’s Heather View care home in Crowborough, for his dedication and commitment to improving the wellbeing and quality of life for residents living with dementia.

Home manager Trish Banks explained: “The quality of Chris’ care is exceptional and his sincere, caring personality shines through, whatever the circumstances.”

Chris said: “It is entirely possible for someone with dementia to continue to live a happy, contented and fulfilled life.

“I am privileged to work with valued colleagues at Heather View to provide care, support and guidance to people for whom, with the onset of dementia, life has changed, and with it brought new challenges and concerns.”

Finally the work of a devoted husband and care home volunteer John Hawkins caught the judges’ attention. Chalfont Court care home manager Jane Jones explained: “John was dedicated to his wife Tess, who sadly passed away before we learnt he had reached the finals.

“John spent so much time with Tess but he still found time to volunteer as a driver at the home, taking residents on trips to Ruislip Lido, Whipsnade Zoo, Butterfly World and many other loved places.

John said: “Tess was a real character, strong and caring. Everyone would come to her with their problems and she would always listen. She was very involved with the Guiding movement and she loved kayaking – she was on the go all the time, a real force of nature.

“Dementia is a cruel condition and I’m glad Tess and I had the team at Chalfont Court where she spent the last seven years as well as the support of our family. I was delighted to be nominated for the award and very surprised when I reached the finals.”

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