Megan Wright from Stafford is celebrating after being crowned Dignity Champion at this year’s Staffordshire Dignity in Care Awards.
The teenager who won Outstanding Achievement is one of 11 winners at the annual Staffordshire County Council awards. Megan is a young carer and astounded judges with her amazing story and care that she provides to her dad and two younger sisters.
Megan said on winning the award: “I feel grateful just for being nominated, never mind winning such an award. With being a young carer, comes a lot of sacrifice but it’s very rewarding, and to be recognised by the community is even more of an honour and I’m beyond pleased.”
A total of 11 awards were presented, recognising care services and individuals who ensure people in care are treated with dignity and respect.
More than 150 nominations were received, with awards being presented by special guests, including television presenter Nick Knowles and actor Sir Tony Robinson. Jan Burns MBE, from The National Dignity Council and Renny Wodynska, Head of Skills for Care in the Midlands, also presented during the virtual awards ceremony, alongside Alan White, Leader at Staffordshire County Council and Chief Executive John Henderson.
Amongst other winners were Margaret Day and her team from Brighter Days in Hopwas, who won the Supported Living and Shared Lives Dignity Champion Award. Informal Carer award went to Lisa Lovick from Uttoxeter and Home Care/Extra Care Dignity Champion went to Kate Archer from Stone.
Alan White, Leader at Staffordshire County Council, who presented some of the virtual awards said: “I would like to say a huge well done to all the winners and all those nominated in this year’s awards. Once again it’s great to see such a range of carers being recognised, from those working in large carer organisations to those in specialist care homes and especially those looking after family members and relatives. I would like to thank everyone for the work they do in providing care with such dignity and respect. We are all extremely grateful for what they do and they should all be very proud of their achievements.”
Other winners included Balwinder Nota, who works for Sense. Balwinder won the Support in the Community award and said: “I was shocked and surprised to be nominated for this award and delighted to have won. I love my job at Sense and enjoy working and supporting others.”
Cannock Specialist Day Opportunities won the Day Service Dignity Champion Category, while Bethany Perrin won the Student/Learner Dignity Champion Category. The Leadership Award went to Ajit Matharu from Bradwell Hall in Newcastle under Lyme and Residential /Nursing Care Home Dignity Champion went to Adrian Page from RMP Care in Stone.
Adrian said: “I was overwhelmed to receive a dignity in care award. It was wonderful to be nominated, let alone win. I felt a great sense of pride to be recognised by the people that I work with. I feel that the most important part of being a care worker is the word Care. We must first and foremost care for the people that we support. I know that there are so many really worthy winners of a care award, so when I was chosen I simply cried at the honour.”
Lisa Loveick said: “I am very happy and honoured to have won. I don’t feel I help Kirsty with anything special, I just feel I do whatever is needed as I love her unconditionally and feel this is what should be done. Having to have medical support and personal care can sometimes be embarrassing and I feel it should be me supporting with this rather than a stranger, as this makes Kirsty more at ease, which is the most important thing.”
Kate Archer, Clinical Lead at Triband Care Services said: “I was overwhelmed to be nominated and even more so when my name was revealed as the winner. I don’t do what I do for recognition but because I have genuine compassion for the individuals in my community that need that extra support and human contact – something that has been even more important during the pandemic. I’ve been stunned by all the messages of congratulations that I have received and I’m very grateful. I would like to also commend all the other nominees in my category and all the other winners.”
Tracey Banner from the Air Ambulance in Newcastle won the Volunteering Unpaid Carer Category. Commenting on the award, Nick Knowles congratulated Tracey and said: “ No one can help everyone but everyone can help someone and if we all do that then we can encourage greater respect and dignity for all.”
Nicola Millward, on behalf of Cannock Specialist Day Opportunities won the Day Services Dignity Champion Award. Nicola said: “I’m really pleased we were chosen for an award, it’s been really tough over the last 18 months with Covid and the effects it has had on our service. We couldn’t believe the response from parents, carers and service users to the virtual activities we provided online – it’s been amazing.”
Special thanks also went out to event sponsors, Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group, Cream Health and Social Care, Alton Towers, the Dorothy Clive garden, The Coop, The Staffordshire Oatcake Company, HAS Technology and Access group.
People can watch the virtual ceremony at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/dignityincare