MORE than 2,000 National Care Group colleagues united in celebrations across England and Wales as part of NHS, Social Care and Frontline Workers’ Day on Monday 5 July.
As one of the UK’s leading providers of care and support services to vulnerable adults, National Care Group used the day as an opportunity to celebrate and recognise the commitment and hard work of its own colleagues after an incredibly challenging year for the sector due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The heroic efforts of health and social care workers throughout the country during the pandemic is what has brought about the inception of NHS, Social Care and Frontline Workers’ Day. The day, which was held for the first time on 5 July as a tribute to the date the NHS was established 73 years prior, included a raising of the flag, two-minute silence, a national toast and national clap.
However, National Care Group went a step further by arranging themed ‘Big Garden Parties’, involving events at 78 of its services. Activities included a ’Big Garden Party Bake-Off’ competition, which had a love heart theme to reflect the tone of the day, and a toast to the workforce broadcast live over Facebook by the executive team.
Each participating service was also sent a Big Garden Party pack bursting with bunting, balloons, cups and plates to decorate and enhance their celebrations.
Karen Lewis, chief operating officer at National Care Group who led the initiative on behalf of the company, said “We wanted to use Frontline Workers’ Day as a way of honouring our colleagues for the commitment they have shown to the people we support following such an unprecedented year. It’s provided us with the perfect opportunity to shine a spotlight on everyone’s hard work and it’s been fantastic to see so many of our services really getting into the spirit of the day and celebrating together.”
A total of 78 individual parties were held at services across England and Wales, with each venue putting its own spin on the day’s events. At Endurance Care in Worcestershire, registered manager Kelly Smith booked a DJ and ice cream van for party guests, while Regent College based in Stoke-on-Trent brought together more than 100 attendees at their event.
Meanwhile, at Abbeyvale Care Centre in Hartlepool the people they support, many of whom are former textile factory workers, were involved in creating teddy bears made from old blankets. Registered manager Julie Shields, who recently received two accolades at National Care Group’s annual awards, organised a ‘teddy bear factory production line’ prior to the party and the bears were then raffled off at their celebrations to raise money for charity on the day.
Karen added: “We’ve been truly overwhelmed by the number of colleagues and services that got involved in organising garden parties and it’s been wonderful hearing about all the different activities and celebrations that have taken place. At National Care Group, we’re passionate about ensuring that those who work with us, and those who access our services, are able to unlock their potential and feel proud about what they do, which is why days like this are so important as it gives us the opportunity to champion their work and show our appreciation.”