The national ‘Going the Extra Mile’ competition, run by Holmes Care Group and Impact Healthcare to recognise care workers’ tireless hard work to deliver the best standards of care, celebrates five colleagues at four homes with awards:
- Sarah Keeton, Senior Carer at Baytree Court Care Home in Scunthorpe
- Helen Miller, Activities Coordinator at Beechwood Care Home in Wishaw
- Linda Williamson, Deputy Service Manager at Heatherfield Nursing Home in Armadale
- June Shields and Jacqueline Knox, Care Assistants at Larkfield View Care Home in Greenock
During the initial phase of the pandemic, when shielding advice meant Service Managers at Baytree Court and Heatherfield needed to self-isolate at home for their own safety, Sarah and Linda stepped in to manage their homes. Working closely with Public Health and Clinical Commissioning Groups, they made sure ever-changing health and safety advice was implemented across care, food, hygiene and maintenance teams, while caring for residents and organising video calls with their loved ones.
When Beechwood was closed to everyone but essential visitors, Helen sewed costumes, decorated lounge areas, gathered props, and baked delicious treats to launch the Beechwood Airlines and Bus Tours. Her engaging activities programme saw residents ‘travel’ to London for afternoon tea with the Queen, ‘jet off’ to Dublin on St Patrick’s Day with a Guinness and ‘attend’ Wimbledon for a tennis match.
Larkfield View’s June and Jacqueline stepped up to take over food preparation over a week when COVID-19 restrictions meant kitchen staff were forced to self-isolate. They quickly got to grips with preparing a care home’s full menu safely, taking into account the food textures and dietary requirements of meal plans in a 90-bed home.
Each home will receive £1,000 to spend on the welfare and wellbeing of all staff members, which so far has included the purchase of garden benches where colleagues can socialise, a bike rack to encourage cycling to work and indoor plants or radios to boost wellness at work.
Stella Brackenbury, Service Manager at Baytree Court Care Home said:
“It’s always difficult to choose just one of our team for an award like this. When I, and the home, needed her, Sarah was 100% there for us, keeping me informed of everything going on when I needed to self-isolate, and managing risk assessments, care plans and testing in the home. She made sure people were as happy and safe as possible despite really challenging circumstances. When I returned to work, we promoted her to Deputy Manager, and she has continued to go the extra mile.”
Cathy Togneri, Service Manager at Beechwood Care Home said:
“Helen’s efforts to keep the people we support engaged and entertained are admirable. Her activities empower some of the most vulnerable people in our community to choose how they spend each day, and her conversations with them help unearth all the memories of childhood, family life and holidays, so that they can relive them while creating many more in the home. She goes the extra mile and I am grateful to her for making all of us smile and laugh through a difficult time.”
Hazel McFie, Service Manager at Heatherfield Nursing Home said:
“I could tell from the minute I joined Heatherfield that Linda is known as a trusted, upbeat and highly skilled member of the team. All of us are very grateful for the work she did to keep everything running over a difficult time and ensure no disruption to the care provided in the home. When the home needs her, she is there for us, so this award is well deserved.”
Elsie MacLennan, Service Manager at Larkfield View Care Home said:
“Nominating June and Jacqueline for this award was my way of making sure they were recognised for all their hard work over the last two years. They go above and beyond to make sure everything runs smoothly. I thought that we would be forced to reduce our menu, but they worked so hard to offer a full one with options for our residents – and even managed to bake treats and a birthday cake. We are very lucky to have them.”