St Helens care workers nominated for national awards

From left to right, Val Mackay, Cheryl Nolan and Hayley Rowson de Vares
From left to right, Val Mackay, Cheryl Nolan and Hayley Rowson de Vares

Three St Helens social care stars have been shortlisted for major awards.

Hayley Rowson de Vares and Cheryl Nolan, from ‘outstanding’ Rainhill residential home Sherdley Court, and Val Mackay, a tenant support worker at St Helens Supported Housing, are all in the running for Great British Care Awards.

The annual event commends the significant contributions made by individuals working in the care sector.

Hayley is nominated for registered care manager of the year, Cheryl, from Prescot, for care home activity coordinator and Val, for the housing with care award.

Former art and design lecturer, Hayley, has been registered manager at Sherdley Court for 15 years, while Cheryl, also previously a teacher, started work at the care home in 2018.

Tenant support worker Val, from Prescot, has clocked up 25 years of service with adult health and social care charity Making Space, which runs both the Rainhill Road care home and St Helens Supported Housing.

Val was also recognised for the volunteering she contributes outside of work, supporting people who are homeless and experiencing drug, alcohol or mental health issues and working with survivors of human trafficking through her work with The Salvation Army.

According to Hayley, Cheryl's contributions have transformed life at the care home, which provides residential support for 25 people living with mental health conditions or dementia.

She said: “Cheryl identifies activities people would like to do within the community to ensure they retain their sense of belonging.

"This may be something as simple as lunch in a café or a shopping trip; what’s important to Cheryl is that she is able to safely accommodate individual choices.

"As a result, people who didn’t engage well with each other or with staff are now happy to chatter away about their experiences or make new plans. The impact on quality of life has been remarkable."

Kim Smith, regional head of operations, Making Space, said: “The management and support workers at both Sherdley Court and St Helens Supported Housing provide a world class example of what care should look like.

“We as an organisation are rightly proud of them and Hayley, Cheryl and Val more than deserve this recognition.”

In December 2018, Sherdley Court was praised by health and social care watchdog the CQC for its outstanding leadership.

Describing their unannounced visit to the care home, the CQC inspector said that leadership demonstrated "a high level of experience and capability to deliver excellent care", that they "promoted a culture that was extremely person-centred" and that they "inspired confidence and passion in the staff team".

The home retained its 'good' rating for all other criteria judged by the inspectorate, including caring and keeping residents safe.

Hayley, Cheryl and Val will find out whether they have won in their respective categories at a gala awards evening at the Midland Hotel, Manchester, on Saturday, October 26.