International IIP Leader Award For Regard CEO

L-R Actor Sally Phillips, award winner Sandie Foxall-Smith, judge Jamie Lawrence
L-R Actor Sally Phillips, award winner Sandie Foxall-Smith, judge Jamie Lawrence

The Chief Executive of care-provider Regard, one of the UK’s largest organisations supporting people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and acquired brain injury, has won the prestigious Investors in People Leader of the Year Award.


Sandie Foxall-Smith became CEO at Regard in 2012 and since then has led it to achieving Investors in People Gold status. The award recognises inspirational leadership and Foxall-Smith won in a shortlist that included leaders from Arriva Rail North, Wheatley Group, Cornerstone and Age UK.


The judges said: “We were impressed that Sandie’s entry didn’t focus on her own leadership qualities but on the outputs as a result of her qualities. Within that we still got a sense of her vision.”


After receiving the award for leaders in businesses with over 250 employees at a ceremony in Old Billingsgate, London, Sandie Foxall-Smith paid tribute to her team.


She said: “Leaders can only be successful if they have a group of people that sign on to a vision and want to make it happen. We certainly have that at Regard.


“I am also pleased that this is recognition for the care industry. Quite understandably the focus is often on carers and those who deliver the service in the front line. But their job is made better if you have a strong management structure behind them that is driving a business that is sustainable and makes money that can be invested in improving standards.”


The IIP Awards, which received over 300 entries, celebrate the best people management practices among Investors in people accredited businesses.


The Leader of the Year Award is by far the most competitive individual award. The winner must communicate a clear purpose and vision with passion, enthusiasm and energy.


Sandie Foxall-Smith was praised for her achievements which included ‘a demonstrable track record of delivering results for the organisation’ and for being a ‘leader who is decisive and gives clear direction for people.’


Regard cares for more than 1,100 people, with a dedicated staff of over 2,100 people working at 147 locations throughout the UK. It holds the prestigious gold standard awarded by Investors in People, and is one of just four out of the 17,000 care organisations in the country to have achieved this status.


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