2012 National Care Awards

Last Friday saw the 14th National Care Awards take place at the London Hilton Metropole hotel. The National Care Awards has been the social care sector’s premier awards event since 1999, promoting excellence in the care industry.

Head chef Chris was one of the finalists for Care Chef of the Year (you may remember Chris spent a day up in Milton Keynes back in October cooking a delicious menu for the judges) and he was joined by myself, office manager Alan and our partners for the Gala Awards Night. It was a great evening and wonderful opportunity for the care industry to show its appreciation for the tireless work that goes on each and every day in the care world. Although Chris did not win the award it was a great achievement becoming one of just five finalists and all of us at Valerie Manor are extremely proud of him.

This Friday we’re at the Great British Care Awards for the Regional Finals in Brighton where Alan and our care trainer Michelle are finalists – we’ll report back with news from the event next week!

Care Chef of the Year Finalist

We are all absolutely delighted that Chris is one of 5 National finalists for Care Chef of the Year at the 2012 National Care Awards. What an achievement and much deserved as all the staff, residents and relatives at Valerie Manor agree! Please do have a look at the full nomination to see what we all had to say about him.

Chris spent a nervous day in Milton Keynes on Wednesday cooking a three course meal in front of the judges and was given 1.5hrs to undertake the task and it looked delicious!

We are all keeping our fingers crossed for the National Awards on the 23rd November where we will find out the results at the Gala awards night in London – Good luck Chris!

Here’s Chris’s delicious menu for judging day below…

Butternut squash and coconut soup
with chilli flatbread
Chicken, bacon and leek with smoked applewood cheese
in an open pie with a puff pastry top
Accompanied with a fresh vegetable medley
and creamed potatoes
Roast pears in cardamom and lemon butter
served with mascarpone and pecan nuts

LABC Building Excellence Awards 2012

As you may be aware in March 2011 we completed our much needed nursing wing extension so we were delighted this year when Horsham Council endorsed us for an award. We were very proud to be one of seven finalists for the Best Community Building in the LABC Building Excellence Awards 2012. Alison and Alan enjoyed the special awards ceremony recently at The Copthorne Hotel, Effingham and were very happy to collect our finalists certificate which is now proudly on display at Valerie Manor.

LABC Endorsement
Below is an extract of the endorsement from a building control officer at our local authority who worked on the project:

The local community recognised the need for Valerie Manor, which has been a residential care home for over 20 years, to be extended and the owners worked closely with the local community and the planning team at Horsham District Council to bring this scheme forward.

The project involved the design and construction of a new nursing wing which was to be an extension to the existing Grade II listed building (which already operated as a nursing home) at the foot of the South Downs. It was crucially important that the external appearance of the extension was in keeping with the original building and the aim was to create a new wing that wasn’t too intrusive so a design that took in to account the changing ground levels and hillside location was conceived.

Overall this was an enjoyable project to work on and although there were challenges (as there are with any scheme) the positive attitudes of the site team meant these issues were dealt with in a friendly and quick manner before they became critical and costly. The finished extension provides a fantastic facility for the local community.

This project has provided
• A much needed nursing wing in the heart of the local community providing residential and nursing care for 23 residents
• Local employment –staffing levels have increased from 14 to 43
• Community engagement! Dame Vera Lynn opened the new nursing wing in 2011 which was a very special occasion for the residents, their families and staff.