In July we had the pleasure of hosting our 2023 Star Awards – with 130 colleagues, board members and people we support coming together to celebrate amazing achievements over the last year. We also live streamed the event so that staff, people we support and family members who weren’t able to attend in person did not miss out.
This year there was a record number of nearly 300 nominations across the fourteen categories, which made the job of the judging panel extremely challenging!
This was the first time post-Covid that we had been able to extend the invitation to more than 100 guests. Guests included nearly 50 people we support, including seven people attending from our complex care services. This included two of our winners, Anna Calligan and Connor Grandon, whose lives are transforming in front of us – knowing where they were a few years ago to how they are leading their lives now, is a testament to their own persistence and willingness to try new things, as well as the great talent of their staff teams.
Another winner was Richard Kurn, who has overcome some challenging periods during the year but has come through the other side and is back living his best life. He is now back in paid employment and his year was capped off by him being chosen to be one of the faces of the Care Quality Commission!
The evening also highlighted how many staff are flourishing in their careers – growing in confidence and making such a positive impact. For example, one of the winners of the Most Caring Staff award was Lynett Gichini, who has been exceptional in helping one of the people she supports through the loss of her mother, and is described by her manager as one of the best support workers she has ever worked with. Over 70% of our managers have been developed and promoted internally and we think that our employee development is one of our biggest successes – for example, both winners of the Most Valuing Manager award, Anshika Jalgaonkar and Hamilton Newman, joined as support workers. The evening was also an opportunity to recognise those who are the bedrock of their teams, who have given many years of consistent, dedicated service, such as Ann Greenwood and Edwick Office. In addition, we were able to salute our central support teams, who support frontline teams to do their jobs well and connecting with wider external environment.