Antrim carers receive prestigious awards
LOCAL care workers from the Antrim area have been presented with awards at this year’s Northern Ireland Independent Care Awards.
The awards seek to reward the efforts of those who show outstanding commitment and quality of care in the independent health and social care sector in Northern Ireland.
Over 120 nominations were received from across Northern Ireland, for just seven award categories.
Jackie McCaughey, manager of MindWise in Antrim, and the whole care team at Massereene Manor were awarded first place in their categories - Best Care Home Manager and Best Practice in Dementia Care, respectively.
Ms McCaughey was shortlisted for her award with two other Antrim care home managers - Pepsi Latta from Clonlee Nursing Home, and Olive Hall of Massereene Manor - but she was chosen by the independent committee as the award winner.
The award is the second in recent times for Ms McCaughey, as she also scooped a national award for a scheme in which her residents had the opportunity to grow vegetables in a Carrickfergus allotment, which were then cooked by other residents back at home.
Bill Halliday, CEO of MindWise, said: “I would be happy to have any member of my family cared for in a facility which Jackie has responsibility for. That for me is the real test of quality and care.
“She has a bubbly personality and she really is constantly motivated and encouraging and in our work. Particularly with severe mental illness, those are enormously important qualities.”
Despite missing out on the Manager award, Massareene Manor’s Olive Hall still had cause for celebration, with her care home winning its category.
Projects which caught the committee’s eye included Doll and Pet Therapy for those who became agitated, and Valentine’s Day celebrations, including making cards and holding a dinner and dance in the evening, with a four-course meal followed by live entertainment.
A woman, whose spouse lives at the home, said: “I felt that I got my husband back for a little while that day.”
Host Julian Simmons was pleased to compere the ceremoney.
He said: “It means a lot to me to be asked to host these awards and be part of an evening that rewards people who work so hard simply because they want to look after others.”
In particular, Mr Simmons praised the special efforts of the carers who were recognised at the bash, saying, “Hearing some of the things that these winners have done to help people, I couldn’t help but smile.
“Jackie’s allotment idea and the Valentine’s dinner set up in Massereene are both amazing ideas and show that these people don’t just turn up and do a job, they go further and think about how they can improve lives, then follow it up and make things happen. That sort of devotion and creativity is worthy of any award.
“That’s the most important thing about this evening, and the work these people do – it’s a positive thing, they help make people happy and improve their lives. I can’t think of another group of people more deserving of a glitzy party in their honour.”
Hugh Mills, IHCP Chief Executive, also expressed his delight at being able to reward hard-working carers, and commented: “These awards are a great way to put the spotlight on the tremendous efforts of care staff throughout Northern Ireland.
“There are thousands of people in the care industry who go to work with a smile on their faces and put in a massive amount of time and energy to helping people in our society who face a wide variety of difficulties. I’d like to wholeheartedly congratulate all the winners and express my thanks to them for their wonderful efforts.”
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Weather for Antrim
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 8 C
Wind Speed: 24 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 5 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North