Veronica McCleary, manager at The Manse Residential Care Home in South Norwood, London, was crowned overall winner of Sanctuary Group’s Employee of the Year awards this week after beating hundreds of nominees.
Veronica, who was “overwhelmed” and in “total shock” said: “When I arrived back to the home my team and residents were over the moon, they were overwhelmed with joy.
“It was such a shock to receive the award – I just sat there and thought ‘did that really just happen’.”
The accolade follows her win of Sanctuary Care’s annual Kindness Awards, which celebrate the kindness of its staff and residents and support the ethos of ‘Keeping kindness at the heart of our care’.
The award was given to Veronica after she and her team safely evacuated 33 residents from The Manse, where she has worked for 25 years, following a power failure in May 2016. With the support of fellow colleagues, her residents were safely and temporarily rehomed at Sanctuary Care’s Meadow View Residential Care Home in Kent and Time Court Residential and Nursing Home in London.
Veronica was a tower of strength to her residents, making the move as smooth as possible, offering continual kindness and reassurance. And for her staff she did everything she could to support them, personally driving them to and from their accommodation and buying them clothes and toiletries.
Following the latest win she said: “You do these things without thinking and this is recognition for not only myself but my team too. What they did was just a natural reaction and they wouldn’t have done it any other way.
“The award is not just for myself, it’s for the team because without their support I would never have achieved what I have done. It’s amazing and I feel very appreciated.”
Mark McCarthy, Group Director – Care, said: “When we created the Kindness Awards I was really pleased because I knew fantastic stories would be identified about passionate staff and residents who make a difference.
“I am incredibly proud that Veronica has gone on to also win the very first of Sanctuary Group’s annual Employee of the Year Awards too. It’s a reflection of the work Sanctuary Care does and I am really pleased for her. I hope this inspires other people to nominate colleagues in the future.”