Community Integrated Care celebrates the inspirational people working in social care

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Photography – Nick Harrison

One of Britain’s biggest charities, Community Integrated Care, celebrated the impact of people working in the social care sector and the inspirational achievements of the people they support with a glittering national ceremony event in April.

The inaugural Community Integrated Care ‘We Dare Awards’ 2019 took place at Emirates Old Trafford Cricket Ground, home of Lancashire County Cricket Club and England Cricket. They were hosted by TV star Fiona Phillips, who is known to millions as the former host of GMTV and has been an passionate campaigner for the social care sector, championing dementia causes.

The event brought together more than 400 representatives of Community Integrated Care, including people supported by the charity, colleagues, volunteers and partners. The event was proudly supported by several of Community Integrated Care’s national partners, including headline sponsor Arena Group.

Community Integrated Care is one of Britain’s most successful charities. With a 31-year heritage, the social care provider now supports more than 3000 people who have learning disabilities, autism, mental health concerns and dementia across England and Scotland.

The event marked the national launch of Community Integrated Care’s new five-year strategy, ‘We Dare’. The strategy aims to see the charity grow to support 10,000 people annually in the years ahead, through developing innovative new models of support in the community. This growth will enable the charity to develop a surplus that will be invested three ways – into enhancing the lives of the people they support and their services, rewarding and developing their colleagues, and supporting the causes that matter most to their local communities. The charity has also pledged to champion social care and to work collaboratively with local and national partners to support a more sustainable, effective and impactful sector.

The We Dare Awards featured 59 nominees from across the UK, representing the social-impact of its 6000 colleagues and teams, the charity’s very best partnerships, and the inspirational achievements of the people they support.

The event highlighted stunning stories that powerfully brought to life the impact of the care sector, none more so than Avril Jones, a Support Worker from Liverpool, who collected the headline ‘We Dare Award’. Avril collected the grand prix accolade for her incredible response to the passing of an individual who had been supported at her service for more than 28 years. In challenging circumstances, Avril planned a beautiful memorial to the much-loved individual and was even willing to fund his funeral, such was her deep-rooted love and respect for him.

In a hotly contested category, Community Integrated Care’s North West service area was also named the ‘Region of the Year’. This accolade recognised their partnerships with leading sporting and cultural organisations, investment in employee wellbeing programmes and the outcomes achieved by the people the support – from enabling a person with a learning disability to find a dream acting role on Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks, through to services achieving CQC’s Outstanding grade.

The event was attended by several local and national care sector representatives, including commissioners from across the UK and Vic Rayner, Executive Director of National Care Forum. It was also supported by patrons of the charity, including rugby league stars Ted and James Chapelhow of Widnes Vikings, and England and St Helens representative, Faye Gaskin, who are proud ambassadors for the Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League, the charity’s ground-breaking new collaboration with UK rugby league.

Mark Adams, CEO of Community Integrated Care, says: “For more than three decades, our charity has supported countless people across the UK, creating stronger communities and enabling individuals to lead fuller, happier lives. At times of unprecedented challenges in the social care sector, it is important that we thank the inspirational people who dedicate their lives to support others and shine a light on the vital contribution of care providers.

With almost 650 award submissions, these 59 nominees represented the very best of the best of the care sector. The event was truly an inspirational occasion for everyone associated with our charity and a shining example of the impact that we aspire to make across the UK with our ambitious new We Dare Strategy.

I would like to thank Fiona for her wonderful hosting role, our sponsors – without whom the event would not be possible, and everyone who contributed to an unforgettable night.”

Speaking at the event, host, Fiona Phillips, said: “As soon as I was asked to be part of the 2019 We Dare Awards, I immediately said yes, because I believe that it is essential that we shine a light on the very best of the care sector.

I know that the work of charities like Community Integrated Care is vital to our society. As a nation, we need to be loud and proud in celebrating what the care sector and the voluntary sector contribute to society. It has been my honour to help make that possible at the We Dare Awards.”

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