Calderdale care workers shortlisted for five prestigious awards

October 2023 · min read

A team of care workers in Calderdale have reached the finals of four separate awards ceremonies in five different categories, in recognition of their unwavering support for unpaid carers in the region.

The team behind the Calderdale Carers Wellbeing Service provide a wide range of personal and group support to people who care for loved ones full-time.

Their dedication has been recognised by the Great British Care Awards, the Social Care Leadership Awards and the Women Achieving Greatness in Social Care (WAGs) awards.

Lydia Woodall is manager of the service. She nominated her team of support workers for the awards to thank them for their commitment to Calderdale carers.

“There’s been a massive increase in the number of carers needing support and I’m so proud of how this wonderful team have pulled together to help carers and each other,” she said.

“Their daily acts of kindness keep everyone going and their innovation knows no bounds. If they identify needs, they work together to find solutions. A good example is their response to the cost-of-living crisis: they’ve raised over £16,000 and counting to source and distribute essential items to carers.”

The whole team have been shortlisted in two categories in the Great British Care Awards: Dementia Carer and the Home Care Team.

Calderdale Care Team The Locality Team Care Innovator

Volunteer Erin Whale has also been shortlisted for The Unpaid Carers Award. Erin is a full-time carer for her mum, who has painful physical conditions, and volunteers for Calderdale Carers Wellbeing Service to support other carers and show them that life can be fun and exciting. Erin will do something every week, no matter how small. She’s an inspiration to other people in the same position, and to the service who will be lost without her.

Activities coordinator Louise Belcher has also received a nod for the work she does to organise activities for carers. A finalist in the Dignity in Care category, Louise has been singled out for personalising the activities and making sure there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

“Many unpaid carers neglect their own needs: Louise cheerfully reminds them they’re not forgotten and gives them things to look forward to,” Lydia said. “She’s made a massive impact on the carers we support, her colleagues and Making Space as a whole. She boosts morale when we need it most and brightens every day.”

Some of the activities Louise has organised include a male carer group, a physical activity group, a regular evening meal out and a cake club. She also plays an active role in fundraising efforts to help pay for the groups and events she organises.

All the GBCA finalists will find out if they’ve won at a glittering awards ceremony at The Armoury in Leeds on 2 November.

In the WAGs, qualified counsellor Janet Rayner has been recognised in the Wellbeing at Work category. As well as running courses and peer support groups for carers, Janet spends her own time coming up with ideas for wellbeing activities for her colleagues.

“Janet approaches everything she does with kindness, understanding, an open mind and a passion for helping others,” said Lydia.

“She’s always available with a listening ear and helping hand. She comes up with little ways to brighten our days, such as a wellbeing basket full of treats including candles, chocolate and magazines. If someone’s having a bad day, they can take a treat and have some time out.”

Winners of the WAGs awards will be announced at a black-tie gala dinner at The Marriott Grosvenor Square in London on 21 November.

Finally, Lydia herself was recognised for her endeavours after being nominated anonymously for the national Social Care Leadership Awards. Lydia was shortlisted in the Wellbeing Leader category, in recognition of the many initiatives she has put in place to help support workers in their roles.

Nick Farmer, our Chief Operating Officer, said of the awards: “It’s so important to celebrate the successes of all the hardworking teams within the care sector. Just being nominated means that someone has noticed how these individuals go above and beyond every day to help improve lives.

“This is something that should be celebrated, regardless of who takes home a trophy. But to be recognised by three separate organisations in the face of stiff competition really is a great honour for this wonderful team and their manager Lydia.

“Whatever the outcome, we’re all immensely proud of everyone who’s been shortlisted.”

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