We’re delighted to announce that our home manager, Claudia Ramsamy, has won The Social Care Covid Hero Award at this year’s Great East of England Care Awards. Claudia and the other category winners will now go forward to the Great British Care Awards final at the ICC in Birmingham on 25 September.

The (socially distanced) ceremony was held at East of England Arena in Peterborough recently, and the winners of over 20 award categories, including The Social Care Covid Hero Award, were announced. These awards celebrate excellence across the sector, promoting best practice within the care home industry and lauding the contribution of outstanding individuals.

For Claudia, the award was a tribute to her courageous leadership during the pandemic. As a manager of just one month’s standing, she had to make some tough decisions in the early days of the pandemic about re-admitting residents who had contracted Covid-19 while in hospital. At that time there was little or no testing, scant access to PPE and almost no knowledge about the nature of the virus.

In the judges’ view, Claudia “went the extra mile and more during the pandemic. She adopted an innovative approach to ensure safety and wellbeing.” They also said that she selflessly considered the needs of residents ahead of her own, “putting smiles on faces in very challenging times”.

“I feel so privileged to have won the regional award, and also delighted to be going though to the final,” she says. “It is heartening to know that people around me consider that I have gone above and beyond during the pandemic.”

She adds: “It has not been at all easy, but I have been lucky to have the support of the wonderful team here at Willows, as well as head office. It’s been a real pleasure to share the winning trophy with the residents and my colleagues. We are all now looking forward to the final in September, and if we win, the residents are determined to celebrate with pink gin and a beach party!”

A delighted Caron-Sanders Crook, our operations manager, says: ”I am thrilled for Claudia. She and her team have worked so hard to keep residents and staff safe, and this has been recognised and acknowledged by our external colleagues too. It demonstrates that Claudia leads a cohesive and close-knit team, resulting in a great outcome for all.”