Excellence Network 2009 winners honoured at Community Care LIVE

The 25 teams honoured in the Excellence Network 2009 received their certificates at a gala lunch in London yesterday.

Aside from recognising these teams which are developing leading edge practice and striving to improve outcomes for service users and give them more choice, dignity and control, the Excellence Network also identified 10 very special people from those teams.

The Community Care Champions are outstanding individuals, social care’s unsung heroes and professionals on the frontline who do so much every day to deliver better outcomes for vulnerable people. Yesterday they were honoured at the ceremony and received certificates from Community Care editor Bronagh Miskelly and the Department of Health’s director of social care, leadership and performance Glen Mason.

“It is very important to recognise how hard social care professionals work and that some go far beyond the call of duty to ensure the best outcomes for the service users they see day-to-day,” said Miskelly.

The Ten 2009 Champions are:

Cheryl Ashman, assistant manager, Riverside Employment Training Service. Cheryl worked long hours outside her normal role to establish Expressions, a cafe in Stoke-on-Trent’s biggest shopping centre which gives learning disabled adults the chance to work and interact with the public. With the motto Equal People, Fair Trade, the cafe and shop only stock fair trade products right down to its cleaning materials.

Cheryl Drury, project worker, at the Barnardo’s Hamara Family Project. Apart from running an inclusive play service, Cheryl was involved in setting up an parent forum and keeping the focus on what is important to parents. She gives unwavering commitment to providing quality services and huge enjoyment to children.

Sharon Jones, dementia care development manager, with the Four Seasons Pearl project has demonstrated such passion about developing dementia services that she apparently never grumbles about workload or travel. This ‘absolute star’ also recognises the difficulties practitioners experience and will always spend time supporting individual staff.

Hilt Get Up And Go co-ordinator Kobi Edward is passionate, persuasive and excellent at her job. She genuinely involved users throughout, by listening to their concerns and ensuring that information was presented accessibly, and proved particularly skilful at partnership working, forging lasting links with other organisations, including leisure centres and Sport for London. Her energy and ingenuity is key to the success of the Get Up And Go project

Lucy Boulden, community services manager, Foundations for Living Team, a project that involved service users in developing new residential care solutions, is someone who dares to deliver what can seem too difficult; who speaks out for change; and who uses her credibility and passion to build strong relationships with commissioners and staff.

Arif Dar, head of looked-after children, Wolverhampton Council is clearly someone who demonstrates real leadership, holding people appropriately accountable for actively participating in partnerships. Arif has been the key individual in bringing together looked-after childrenÕs services into one seamless offering.

Bob Marshall, team leader, Louth & Skegness Recovery Teams has demonstrated clear leadership in embracing the opportunities and challenges of the personalisation agenda in mental health. His tenacious attitude to challenging old ways of working made a positive difference to people’s lives.

Dorset’s safe schools and communities team’s restorative reprimand scheme would not have happened without the dedication of restorative justice specialist officer Jon Sweet. He championed the project because of his commitment to giving victims a voice as well as desire to help young people.

Phil Rice, team co-ordinator eating disorders, recognised the need to collaborate with sufferers for find help rather than impose a treatment. He receives many letters of thanks including one that said: “You have helped me more in one half hour than in weeks of counselling.”

Linda Cumberbatch, service manager, Centres of Excellence Healthy Living Teams, is someone who walks the walk as well as talks the talk. By recognising that older people may be embarrassed about talking about loneliness she has help to transform services and lives.

Find out more about all the honoured teams

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