Sunrise Senior Living UK and Gracewell Healthcare celebrate first cohort of Graduates


Sunrise Senior Living UK and Gracewell Healthcare are currently offering Leadership Development Programme Pathways to their Senior Care Assistants (SCAs), Heads of Departments (HODs) and Registered General Nurses (RGNs), which have been endorsed by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), a nationally recognised organisation.

The Sunrise and Gracewell teams held their first graduation ceremony on the 20th February 2019 at The Holiday Inn, High Wycombe. The ceremony was hosted by Learning and Development Manager, Dawn Buchanan-Hole, as well as Carrie Stone and Maggie Woloszyn who deliver this programme.

The ceremony gave them the chance to receive their official certification and enjoy a celebratory lunch, which was attended by both Natalie Jane-Macdonald and Joanne Balmer, Sunrise and Gracewell’s UK CEO and Senior Director of Care and Quality.

Joanne Balmer opened with a speech on how the initiative has grown since its humble beginning as a supervision and coaching module, to become a highly recognised leadership programme which is endorsed by the ILM. The course provides bespoke learning and development opportunities for team members and was shortlisted in the Excellence in Training category at the LaingBuisson Awards in 2018.

Team members across both brands have strived to achieve a very high standard of completion during the programme,26 achieving distinctions and 44 achieving merits as well as their commitment to the implementation of project work back in the workplace to support and change practice.

At the graduation ceremony the 40 senior care assistants, 31 line managers and the 30 nurses who had attended and completed the programme earners were awarded with their certificate of achievement and were able to celebrate their success with their colleagues and receive well deserved recognition from the organisation for their hard work and commitment.

Some of the team members implemented changes and improvements back in their Sunrise communities or Gracewell homes, include:
• Reduced turnover and encouraging motivation, commitment and engagement in team members
• Fostering networking opportunities
• Sharing best practice with other communities / homes
• Improved brand reputation and marketing
• Better succession planning
• Team building opportunity
• Reinforcement of learning
Dawn Buchanan-Hole, Learning and Development Manager at Sunrise Senior Living UK and Gracewell Healthcare, said:

“I would like to congratulate everyone who has graduated. Their hard work, perseverance and dedication has paid off and each and every one of them deserves their accomplishments. I would also like to thank my passionate and enthusiastic team for their support and guidance when supporting our team members with their project work and making this programme such a great success.

“I would also like to give extra special thanks to Carrie and Maggie for their commitment and dedication in ensuring that this development programme is inclusive and fun and is bespoke to our organisation’s mission, culture and core values

“We are so proud to be playing a key role in developing professionals within the care sector and I very much look forward to many more future graduation days.”


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