Award Winners Revealed!
What the Judges Said:
Winner: Solihull Community Housing
Solihull Community Housing provides housing services to around 11,000 council homes on behalf of Solihull Council. Their aim is to give all their residents the opportunity to enjoy their home and environment and to be part of a community.
They offer a specialist support service, Safe and Sound, which helps older, disabled or vulnerable people to live independently. This support includes reducing isolation, developing independent living skills and enhancing the quality of life for residents and their carers.
Solihull Community Housing have been nominated for a number of categories but have been pipped at the post each time. The judges wanted to award them the Chairman's Award to recognise the outstanding work they have done to support older and vulnerable people.
The judges praised Solihull Community Housing for going way beyond their core responsibilities as a housing provider. Judges also commended the breadth of their approach in supporting residents which is helping to keep people independent and improving lives.
Category: Care Professional of the Year
Winner: Mandy Hannigan
Mandy works for Solihull Council as part of the Supported Integrated Discharge team. The aim of the team is to reduce the length of time people stay in hospital and to help them return home as soon as they are able.
She is one of 3 social care assessors within the team and works in partnership with therapists at Solihull Hospital.
Mandy has shown outstanding dedication and commitment to her job including working on a voluntary basis at weekends in order to provide a 7 day service for people being discharged from hospital.
The judges felt that Mandy went the extra mile (in fact more than one) for her patients, and for that reason, is a worthy winner of our Care Professional of the Year award.
Category: Care Team of the Year
Winner: Swallows Meadow Court
This was the most popular category in our awards, with eight nominations for teams ranging from support for people living with dementia, to caring for people in their own homes and end of life care.
Swallows Meadow Court is a care home in Shirley. Their Care Team consists of nurses, care assistants, activities staff, catering, domestic and office staff.
The judges praised this 'superb team of professionals' who come across as highly motivated and proud of what they do.
The team have been praised for their 'care and devotion' by a MacMillan nurse who works with them. Thank you notes from families of people who were cared for at the home also highlighted the love and compassion shown by all staff at Swallows Meadow Court.
Category: Award for Collaborative Working
Winner: Solihull Partnership Winter Warmth campaign
The annual Winter Warmth campaign has been running since 2008. It provides support and assistance to Solihull residents who are vulnerable and most at risk during the coldest periods of the year. This support includes providing emergency equipment and assistance when heating breakdown occurs and referrals to a range of services.
The campaign is commissioned by Solihull Public Health, and led and coordinated by Solihull Council and Age UK Solihull. But, it is delivered by a partnership of around 27 local organisations.
The judges praised the partnership work for this campaign which makes a real difference to the lives of older people. They also commented on the case studies which demonstrated the practical support provided by the partnership.
Category: Award for an Outstanding Project Delivered in the Community
Joint winners: Paul Murtagh, Walking Football Club and the Thursday Club
The judges found it impossible to choose between these two projects based in the community and decided they were both worthy winners of the award.
Paul Murtagh, A lifelong Solihull resident, has led the launch of the Walking Football Club at Beechcroft Multi Sports Club. The activity has transformed the physical and mental well-being of the people involved with many of the older members commenting that that Walking Football has 'changed their lives'. It gets them out of the house and it is the part of the week they most look forward to.
The judges commented on Paul's 'passion and drive' and the time he gives on a voluntary basis to run the Walking Football club.
The Thursday Club, which meets at Solihull Synagogue, is for the over 60s. Although it caters for the cultural needs of Jewish senior citizens, including providing a kosher meal, it is non-denominational.
For many people, who are vulnerable and isolated, the Thursday Club provides the only freshly cooked balanced meal they eat all week. It also gives them an opportunity to meet and mix with other people in the community and to access information from local voluntary organisations.
The judges praised the Thursday Club for providing support to a group of people who could otherwise suffer a lot of isolation. The Club meets a specialist need but is also inclusive and welcomes the wider community.
Category: Award for Outstanding Customer Experience
Winner: George Fentham Trust Lunch Club
Run by volunteers, the George Fentham Trust Lunch Club supports the frail elderly in Hampton. It provides a hot meal, an exercise class and friendship for the 20 people who go along every fortnight.
The judges praised the work of the volunteers who provide delicious food and companionship, as well as transport for people who could not otherwise get to the lunch club. The club offers a varied programme, a sense of community and belonging. It is a lifeline to the people who attend and sometimes the only outing those residents have each fortnight.
Category: Award for Dementia-friendly Service
Winner: Arts and Libraries Service, Solihull Council
Staff at the Council's Arts and Libraries Service have been working to increase understanding of dementia in the community, promote the support available for people living with dementia and for their network of family and friends, and raising understanding of the condition amongst staff, library stakeholders and volunteers.
They have hosted a series of Dementia Friends training sessions and now hold regular events, supported by a local Dementia Champion, which give local residents, including friends and family of people living with dementia, the opportunity to find out more about the disease and share their experiences.
The judges praised the Arts and Libraries Service for their commitment to improving the lives of people living with dementia in Solihull. They have gone beyond their core business to offer something extra which is clearly appreciated and valued by people who use the Arts and Library Service. The judges felt that they had really demonstrated the meaning of Dementia Friendly.
Category: Health Professional of the Year
Winner: Phillip Hall
Since joining the team at Solihull Hospital two years ago Phillip has worked tirelessly to improve the care of older people, especially those living with dementia. He has introduced changes to make Solihull a truly dementia friendly hospital and has created a charitable fund, Dementia Care at Solihull, to help fund those changes. He spends a lot of time fundraising, including his (winning) performance in the Solihull Does Strictly night and his walk from Worcester to Solihull! According to colleagues, his desire and enthusiasm are inspirational and his energy is boundless.
The judges commended Phillip for his dedication and passion for improving the lives of older people and for all the work he does to educate colleagues and inspire them to make Solihull Hospital a leading light in dementia care.
Category: Award for Outstanding Neighbour
Joint winners: Alan Jones and Andrew Orchard
Since moving into their retirement flat almost four years ago, the boys, as Alan and Andrew are affectionately referred to in the nomination, have created a real sense of community for their neighbours. They have introduced a programme of leisure activities such as theatre and cinema visits their neighbours describe as 'life-enhancing', as well as a once a month fish and chip night. And in addition to this, Alan and Andrew are on hand and always willing to help out when other residents need a bit of practical support.
The judges praised Alan and Andrew for going out of their way to involve others who are more isolated. Through their efforts they are helping other residents be part of their community and enjoy life.
Unfortunately Alan and Andrew are not able to be here today as they are on holiday. But their neighbour, Margery, who nominated them, has kindly agreed to receive the award on their behalf.
Category: Primary Care Service of the Year
Winner: Hampton Surgery
On a visit to the local lunch club to give flu vaccinations, staff at Hampton Surgery were surprised to see how differently their patients were coping (or not coping) outside of the surgery setting. This experience led them to look more closely at the needs of their older patients and think about how they could promote health and wellbeing to a vulnerable group of people. The result is a new wellbeing support worker service which offers signposting and practical help on a range of issues including finance and social isolation.
Although it's a small practice, Hampton Surgery is a teaching practice for medical and nursing students and a training practice for foundation year two doctors and GPs in training (GP Registrars).
Judges praised the attitude of staff at the surgery who have looked at what they could do to improve the quality of people's lives. They are engaged with their community and have worked in collaboration with their local village charity and pharmacy to provide a service which is having a really positive impact.
Category: Award for an Outstanding Initiative in Supported Living
Winner: Phoenix House Extra Care Service
Phoenix House is an extra care scheme in Shirley which provides individual apartments for older people who want to live on their own but may need personal care and support.
The team at Phoenix House have put together a wide range of activities as well as resident volunteering and fund raising. The service has made links with other organisations to introduce new activities such as Boccia [pronounced Bo cha] (seated bowls) run by the Council's Solihull Active team, fashion shows, parties, visiting entertainers and events as well as old 'favourites' such as bingo, quizzes and coffee mornings.
Judges loved the range of activities on offer. They also commended the enthusiastic and positive leadership of the team at Phoenix House who have created a happy and vibrant community for their residents.