This year has been very challenging but hugely rewarding for myself and the staff at Darwin Place & Darwin Domiciliary. I have been really fortunate to win 2 awards based on our achievements at Darwin Place. The first award was through the Barchester Care Awards for the Diverse Services Champion. I felt really proud of this because I had been nominated by a colleague & peer who could see how we as a team were dealing with some really difficult issues in our home. The award ceremony itself was glorious and a huge deal was made of all the finalists. As a company it was great to see what others were achieving and hear the stories about what they were doing that was above & beyond the call of duty.

The second award was even more special because I was nominated by my staff team for Manager of the Year for the Great West Midlands Care Awards. I didn’t think I was in with the chance for this because I am so young and have very little experience compared to the other nominees who I met at the judging day. We decided to attend this ceremony as a team and the staff who came made a real effort dressing up and showing real support when the nominations were read out. The fact that I won is still surreal now as it means I have been shortlisted for Manager of the Year for the great British Care Awards and we will be attending the ceremony for that in April this year. It is so exciting when we get recognised for awards, and personally I feel a real sense of achievement and pride, because I genuinely believe that the work we do is so important! As a team we have just been shortlisted for Team of the year for the local SPIC awards. The fact that we have been shortlisted is wonderful but I obviously want us to win so that the staff get some recognition for the outstanding job they do. I couldn’t be more proud as a manger to see how far we have come as a team in the last 12 months and I am excited to see what we can achieve in the next 12!