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Issue:- 09/10 December 2009

Caring Nancy wins award

NANCY Sykes has proved you are never too old to work – after being named Liverpool’s favourite care worker at the age of 74.

The sprightly pensioner from Halewood has scooped the ‘People’s Choice’ prize at the annual ‘i Care’ awards, organised by Liverpool JET (Jobs, Enterprise and Training) Service.

Nancy has worked as a carer for 30 years. Since 1996 she has been working for Allied Healthcare, where she supports people with physical and learning disabilities to continue living at home.

She gets up at the crack of dawn each day and is out of the house by 6.45am to do her morning rounds, helping get people out of bed, bathed and with breakfast. She then has more calls at lunchtime, teatime and in the evening.

Nancy was nominated by Susan Coulling, who she has cared for over the last five years. Susan describes her as “my little fairy” and praised her for going the extra mile to help the people she cares for.

At Christmas Nancy even makes dinners for all the people she supports - and takes them round to their home if she knows they will be alone over the festive season.

Nancy said:- “I was so surprised to be nominated and didn’t know anything about it until I was invited to the awards. I am so pleased – it is really nice to be appreciated. I really love my job and just enjoy getting out and about meeting people. I feel too well to even consider thinking about retiring!”

Nancy is one of ten winners of the  ‘i Care’  awards, which are designed to promote excellence in social care, and to encourage more people to enter the profession.

The award now has pride of place on the mantelpiece at her home in Halewood.

Councillor Ron Gould, Liverpool’s executive member for health, care and safeguarding, said:- “There are so many dedicated people working in social care who make a real difference to the lives of those that they help.  The awards are a chance to highlight the many selfless and generous staff who work above and beyond the call of duty.  It was a really hard task to pick who should win, and we have tried to choose the most outstanding entries.”

The other winners are:-

Outstanding “Newcomer” to social care:-

Faiza Al-Shamiri – Home Instead Senior Care

Faiza was nominated by her manager who described her as “a wonderful person with a very good heart” Faiza was trained through the Liverpool JET Service pre-employment training programme and quickly found work in the social care sector.

Outstanding Care / Support Worker working with Children and Young People:-

Irene Usher – Liverpool Crossroads

Irene’s manager described her as “dedicated and caring, who is a valued member of the team and is very well respected by the families she supports.” Irene has worked for Crossroads for 17 years.

Outstanding Care / Support Worker working in a Nursing / Care Home Environment:-

Linda Billingsley – Age Concern

Linda said that:- “selflessly puts the needs of the service users before her own. She genuinely cares for the people who live there and has been pivotal in created an upbeat, enthusiastic and friendly atmosphere.”

Outstanding Care / Support Worker working in a Domicilliary Care environment:-

Donna Rooney – Home Instead Senior Care

Donna was nominated for her attitude, dedication, ability and drive ensure high quality care is provided and maintained at all times.

Outstanding Care / Support Worker working with People with Mental Health Problems:-

Peter McGuinnity – Liverpool Crossroads

Peter had worked as a long distance lorry driver before getting employment with Crossroads in 2005. He has a gentle, caring nature which is an asset and enables him to gain the confidence and trust of his clients. Peter goes that extra mile, getting to know his clients and looking beyond the disability.

Outstanding Manager in a social care environment:-

Kath Stoddart – North West Community Services

Kath has worked at NWCS for 10 years starting as a support worker and is now a service manager. She has become a natural advocate for many people who use the services of NWCS, always going that extra mile for service users and their families.

Outstanding award for continued professional development:-

Kate McWilliam – Signpost Ltd

Kate had originally planned to pursue a career in chemical engineering but after working in social care to support herself through her studies she changed her mind. Whilst pursuing her new career, Kate has achieved a degree in Psychology and is finishing her NVQ4 in leadership and management. This is in addition to persuading colleagues to study and assisting a client undertake a course in computer studies

Outstanding Care / Support Worker working with People with Physical Disabilities:-

Chantelle Culley – Homecarers Liverpool Ltd

Chantelle supports people with mobility problems and has followed her mother into the profession. She always has a smile for her clients and takes time to chat and encourage her clients to take their medication, eat their meals, and get washed and dressed.

Outstanding Care / Support Worker working with People with Learning Disabilities:-

Ron Challinor – Northwest Community Services

Ron had worked in Civil Engineering until ill health meant he had to change career. Ron supports a man with learning disabilities and communication difficulties and has helped him turn his life around.

Dil Daly, Chair of the 800 Group which has supported the awards, said:- “We are delighted to be the sponsor of the second ‘I Care Awards’ which recognise excellence in health and social care. Although the first awards were launched in 2008 they have very quickly become a showcase for everything that is good in our sector. The 800 Group is very pleased to play a part in the awards in 2009.”

The winners were announced at an awards ceremony at the Holiday Inn in the city centre hosted by actor Danny McCall, who is appearing in pantomime at the Deco Theatre in Northampton this year.

Festive fun at the 2009 Reindeer Run!

LOCAL people are being asked to ‘Dasher’ over to Larkhill Gardens in Clubmoor and help raise cash for the perfect gift for schoolchildren – new play equipment!

A Festive Reindeer Run, on Saturday, 12 December 2009, will see scores of local people, of all ages, get in the Christmas spirit and don their antlers to raise funds for Roscoe Primary School.

Runners can take in a short or slightly longer route around Larkhill Gardens and at the end, everyone will be treated to drinks and mince pies.  Santa will also be coming along to meet the children and hand out gifts.

All the money raised at the event will go towards improving outdoor play provision for the Nursery and Reception children at Roscoe Primary School, L13.

The ‘Reindeer Run for Roscoe’ is organised by St Andrews Church in Clubmoor. Entrance costs £2 per person (£5 per family) and everyone is welcome!


ON 8 December 2009 UK charities are counting the cost of the recent postal strikes and stepping up their appeals by bombarding families with an unprecedented level of telephone calls for donations, according to new findings from one of the UK’s leading consumer privacy services.

The Call Prevention Registry, the UK’s leading anti-nuisance calls service provider, an organisation which puts a stop to all unsolicited telemarketing calls made to consumers registered on its service, has found that there has been a sharp rise in the number of calls made to UK households by charities in the four weeks leading up to the end of November.

According to the Call Prevention Registry’s ‘Nature of Nuisance Calls in the UK’ November survey, a monthly analysis of thousands of consumers across the UK who are receiving unsolicited sales and nuisance calls, 1 in 5 (21%) of all calls made to UK households are currently being made by charities – the highest volume than at any time since the start of the credit crunch-come-recession at the end of 2007 and early 2008.

“Christmas is a key time for fundraising and a combination of factors has conspired to make this years’ charity campaigns particularly challenging. The postal strikes in October have evidently had an adverse affect on many charities’ autumn campaigns which have subsequently impacted on their appeals in the run up to Christmas – traditionally the most important time of the year for charities. This has been exacerbated by the current economic downturn.”
said Paul MacKenzie-Cummins, spokesperson for the Call Prevention Registry...

With most charities reliant on postal donations it would appear that many have been forced into seeking alternative methods to attract much needed funds this year. Which when combined with the unprecedented levels of telemarketing calls currently being made by loan and debt management companies, means that consumers are being bombarded by a record volume of telephone sales calls this Christmas.

Speaking our language

LIVERPOOL’S cultural diversity will be celebrated on Wednesday, 9 December 2009 as the city’s high-flying ethnic minority students are honoured.

The 2009 Community Languages Project – part of Liverpool City Council’s Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service (EMTAS) - will reward young people who have achieved top exam grades in a range of languages .

The EMTAS Community Languages project aims to give young people in the city for whom English is not the first language, the chance to excel in exams in their mother tongue.

Set up in 2005, this year has been the most successful ever for the initiative. Almost 80 students who completed GCSEs and other qualifications in Arabic, Somali and Chinese in 2009 will be guests of honour at the event – including many who achieved A* and A grades.

2009 also saw Liverpool become one of the first cities in the country to introduce a nationally recognised Somali language qualification. The Community Languages team worked with exam board OCR to develop the qualification, and the first Liverpool six students sat their ‘breakthrough’ assessment in May. All passed, with five students achieving top marks.

The city council’s executive member for education, Councillor Keith Turner, said:- “It’s vital we tackle inequality in education and give all our young people every chance to succeed. The evidence shows that pupils who do not speak English as their first language benefit greatly from achieving high levels of skill in their mother tongue. It helps boost their learning of English and attainment in the wider curriculum. More than 6,000 schoolchildren in Liverpool fall into this category and the Community Languages Project is a fantastic way of connecting with them. It promotes self-esteem and aspirations among many ethnic minority children as well as breaking down learning barriers and addressing under-attainment. I would like to congratulate the young people who have worked so hard to achieve such excellent grades in their examinations. They are a real credit to the city and it’s fantastic that we are recognising their success – and the success of the Community Languages Project - through this very special event.”

Success stories in 2009 include a Year 9 student who sat both GCSE and A-Level Arabic through the project in one academic year - achieving an A* for GCSE and an A grade for her A-Level - only three marks away from 100 per cent.

The Community Languages Project, which is delivered after school at community venues, is having a real impact and narrowing the attainment gap for a growing number of vulnerable Black and Racial Minority students.

Feedback from schools has been good, highlighting a positive impact on students who were in danger of becoming disengaged and a marked improvement in their self confidence and application.

Two previous Liverpool students have also been placed in the top ten nationally - one in 2007 for GCSE Arabic and one in 2008 for A -Level Arabic. And a number of students who completed A-Level Arabic through the project have used their qualifications to make successful university applications.

The Community Languages Project also introduced a Bengali GCSE group this year and works with schools to help them develop their own language provision, including booster sessions for individuals and small groups of students sitting Urdu, Chinese, Farsi, Punjabi and Polish qualifications.

Barbara Higgins, EMTAS manager, said:- “We are immensely proud of these students who have been so committed to their studies. They are fantastic role models for future students.”

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