Care Professional 2017 - Darren Townsend

Written by Cassie Simpson on .

Care Professional Darren TownsendFew people choose to be homeless and it is usually a downward spiral of events that lead them to this low point in their lives. Often those sleeping rough are not owed a duty by the local authority, meaning there is no obligation to house them.

Having experienced homelessness for himself, Darren Townsend has a natural empathy when it comes to helping people he meets who are sleeping rough in Solihull. He works as a Rough Sleeper Outreach Worker which puts him on the frontline of the homeless crisis.

Photo caption: Darren Townsend from SIAS Aquarius, with the 2016 Care Professional of the Year, Joanne MacKinnon.

Collaborative Working 2017 - MacMillan Palliative Care Therapy Team

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Collaborative Working Macmillan Palliative CareA unique partnership between Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust and Macmillan has made a real difference to patients coming towards the end of their lives in Solihull.  The Palliative Care Occupational Therapy Service is a specialist team which helps people who may have months, weeks or just days to live. 

Photo caption: Members of the MacMillan Occupational Therapy Team with (left) Maureen Johnson, Carer Governor, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

Health Professional of the Year 2017 - Geraldine Russell

Written by Cassie Simpson on .

Health Professional Geraldine RussellGeraldine Russell is a Specialist in Special Care Dentistry at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust and has championed dental services and improving oral health and care for frail older people in Solihull. She set up the Older People’s Service in 2012 and leads the team. Together they have improved domiciliary dental care for those most in need, developed an oral care training package for use in care homes in Solihull, as well as championing the care of patients with advanced dementia and providing training in dementia friendly dentistry.  

Photo caption: Geraldine Russell (right) with the 2016 Health Professional winner, Dr Reema Swarna


Outstanding Community Project - Solihull Borough Talking Newspaper Association

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Outstanding community project SBTNA webThis voluntary group produces a weekly talking newspaper and quarterly magazine for visually impaired people. Based on their listeners’ interests and selected by the producer for the week, the newspaper includes stories from the Solihull Observer, Solihull News and occasional articles from the Birmingham Mail. It’s a popular and successful service with a regular listener base across Solihull which has grown to more than 200 people, ranging in age from 55 to 95 years old.

Solihull Borough Talking Newspaper Association (from left to right) John MacDonald (Treasurer), John Hill (Producer), David Carrington-Porter (Listeners’ committee rep), Marion Canning (Chair) and Derek Bush (Information Officer) with Cllr Bob Sleigh OBE, Leader of Solihull Council.

Outstanding Customer Care – Home Library Service, Solihull Council

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Outstanding customer care Homes Library ServiceTucked away in the basement at The Core you’ll find the Home Library Service.  Part of Solihull Council’s library services, and run by Gill Masefield and Ian Fellowes, it’s a free service delivering boxes of books to around 230 Solihull residents every 4 weeks.

Gill and Ian describe their jobs quite simply.  “We choose books, we put them in a box and we deliver them to people.”   But listening to them talk and hearing the reactions of the people they visit, you realise that Gill and Ian provide much more than that.

Gill is pictured second left with (from left to right) Anne Hastings, Chief Executive of Age UK Solihull and Jill Griffin and Kate Bunting from Solihull Council's Library Services.

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