The awards, held on 8 July at the Islington Assembly Hall, aim to promote and recognise the very best in care and support provided by care workers in the borough. The judging panel, made up of representatives from Age UK Islington and Healthwatch Islington, along with Councillor Janet Burgess MBE, Executive Member for Health & Social Care & Deputy Leader of the Council, chose winners in eight categories from nearly 100 nominations. The winners were:
- Carer of the year in the Domiciliary Care and Reablement category - Esther Alupu, Islington Council, Reablement team
Highly Commended - Sarah Nakato, Mayfair Homecare
- Carer of the Year in the Residential and Nursing Care category - joint winners - Daniela Siclovan and Moises Ferreira, St Anne's Nursing Home
- Carer of the Year in the Extra Care category - Marion Howell, Notting Hill Genesis
- Carer of the Year in the Supported Living category - Allison Allicock, Centre 404
- Carer of the Year in the Shared Lives category - Carol Maldon, Islington Shared Lives
- Personal Assistant of the Year - joint winners - Mihaela-Manuela Gaspar and Christiana Onireti
- The Innovation in Care Award - Megan Smiley, Sapphire Independent Housing
- The George Durack Lifetime Achievement Award - Sarah Nakato, Mayfair Homecare
This year’s awards featured a new lifetime achievement award in honour of George Durack, a former Islington Councillor, campaigner and Chair of Islington Pensioners Forum, who died last year, aged 94. The award was presented by George’s daughter, Elaine Durack.
Winner of the George Durack Lifetime Achievement Award, Sarah Nakoto said:
“I feel so proud and happy to get this award. It’s a real honour, especially to be nominated by the people that I care for. The people I work with are often feeling frail or vulnerable and have maybe lost some confidence. I love that I get the opportunity to work with people to regain that confidence and support them to reach their goals and be as independent as they can be.
“I was surprised to win as there are so many excellent care workers out there. I think these awards are really important and provide the opportunity to celebrate the wonderful work they all do.”
Councillor Janet Burgess MBE was on hand to present the awards alongside Islington’s Mayor, Councillor Rakhia Ismail. Councillor Burgess said:
“The awards are a real highlight in my calendar and it’s an honour to be a part of the judging panel. It’s always incredibly difficult to choose the winners, when each of the nominations tells a unique story of someone who has chosen to dedicate their working life to caring for people. Above all, these awards provide an opportunity to celebrate the incredible and too often overlooked contribution care sector workers make to society and to the everyday lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.”