Social care heroes across the country are set to be recognised for their hard work in a rolling awards programme.
As the pressures on social care workers mount and the care sector faces the hardest winter on record, Support Social Care Heroes (SSCH) has launched its first programme since being established last year.
Social care employers are encouraged to nominate their staff for a care home hero award.
Taking part has been made simple and easy: post a photo of your employee of the month and which care home you represent, to social media, with the hashtag #SocialCareHeroAward and tag Support Social Care Heroes page. Tell us in 160 characters why the person is a social care hero.
All nominations will be curated by the Support Social Care Heroes team and each month a winner will be chosen at random.
Each winner will receive a £50 voucher for the grocery store of their choice and the nominating care home will receive a bunch of flowers. The prizes have been sponsored by VAT Solutions.
SSCH, which is in the process of achieving charitable status, aims to preserve, protect and improve the health and wellbeing of those providing social care.
There are 1.54m people working in social care in the UK and this is expected to increase to 2.17m by 2035. This workforce is often overlooked yet they keep the most vulnerable people in our society safe and well.
Carers often work long, anti-social hours and they don’t often get the recognition and rewards they deserve. The situation was desperate before the pandemic but the last two years has seen them struggle like never before.
It is hoped that SSCH will receive significant support following research which found that the overwhelming majority of the public feel that social care staff are undervalued (81%) and underpaid (80%).
Nicola Richards, Founder of Support Social Care Heroes, explained the thinking behind the idea:
Every month we know many care homes already reward the ‘employee of the month’ and we felt we should do something to bring all these nominations together from around the country to celebrate our care heroes.
This is the first step in our long-term plans to ensure those who need care, and those caring for them, are valued by society.
Our country’s social care heroes have been on the front line and in the headlines for over 18 months and this idea will help show them that they are valued and recognise the work they do.
Debbie Clarke, Care Manager at Leahyrst Care Home in Sheffield, added:
The last 18 months have been so tough for everyone in the care sector. This is a great idea to show the public some of the care heroes whose dedication and commitment often escapes mainstream attention.
Rob Burton, MD of VAT Solutions, which is sponsoring the awards, said:
We couldn’t be more delighted to support Nicola and her team, which combines not only our national work in the care sector and the incredible people who work on its front line, but also closely supports our more local community and our Sheffield roots with the pilot group being based in Sheffield.