Award winning carers making a difference in Oxfordshire

The very best carers in Oxfordshire have been celebrated at an awards ceremony on Monday (24 April) bringing together unpaid carers, the community and voluntary sector, and statutory and independent care providers.

Organised by Oxfordshire Association of Care Providers (OACP) and hosted in partnership with Action for Carers Oxfordshire and Age UK Oxfordshire, the Oxfordshire Care Awards were held on Monday (24 April) at the Voco Oxford Thames Hotel in Sandford-on-Thames under the tagline ‘inspiration for all’. Oxfordshire County Council co-sponsored the event.

One of the big winners of the day was L A Care Ltd, who was named Care Employer of the Year after a client described the company in one testimonial as “the most caring, professional, organised, informative and helpful team.”Chris Rees

The Newcomer to Care Award was won by Chris Rees, a chef from the Julie Richardson Nursing Home. Chris was acknowledged as delivering “nutrition and hydration responsively, by adjusting menus to deal with common issues like weight loss, dysphagia, and dementia by developing and providing fitting alternatives.”

The Inspiration Award recognises an organisation or business that is not a health or care agency, that inspired others during the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s winner was Westinghouse Laundry from Abingdon. The team collected 356 bags of laundry from carers doorsteps, washed, ironed and returned it to the carer within 48 hours.

LaundryEleven award winners were announced, with a further eleven named as ‘highly commended’. All winners received an engraved glass trophy, a framed certificate and a cash prize ranging from £5000 to £250. Those being highly commended received a framed certificate and prize money of between £500 and £100.

Karen Fuller, Oxfordshire County Council’s Interim Director for Adult Social Care, said: “The Oxfordshire Care Awards give us the chance to acknowledge excellence in care, celebrating the people making a difference to some of our most vulnerable residents.

“From unpaid carers and volunteers to established care companies, each plays a valuable part in how we deliver adult social care here in Oxfordshire. It’s been an honour to attend the event and celebrate their achievements.”

Eddy McDowall, CEO of Oxfordshire Association of Care Providers, said: “It’s always a privilege to be involved in the Oxfordshire Care Awards. Our awards give the whole community a chance to pause, reflect and thank the hard working people in our industry, celebrating those moments where people go above and beyond what’s expected.”

Penny Thewlis, CEO of Age UK Oxfordshire, said: “The care awards are always a complete delight from beginning to end! I can’t think of anything more important than providing care and support to enable people to live life with dignity and some joy. The awards celebrate the amazing people who are doing this every day and whose praises are very rarely sung publicly. They should be.”

Kay Francis, Head of Carer Services at Action for Carers Oxfordshire, said: “We had such a wonderful afternoon celebrating the fantastic care provided by wonderful people in Oxfordshire. Valuing the contribution care workers, volunteers and unpaid carers make in our communities is often humbling and always an honour.”


The full list of winners and those highly commended are:

Newcomer to Care Award 2023

Winner: Chris Rees – Julie Richardson Nursing Home

Highly Commended: Monica Ferrara – Blue Angel Care


The Care Home Worker of the Year Award 2023 

Winner: Daniel Smeu-Mare – Julie Richardson Nursing Home

Highly Commended: Jade Betts – Highmarket House Care Home


The Community/Home Care Worker of the Year Award 2023 

Winner: Craig Cox – Style Acre

Highly Commended: Tracey Johnston – Oxford Aunts Care


The Care Team of the Year Award 2023 

Winner: Flexicare (Oxford and Abingdon) Care Team - Flexicare

Highly Commended: Holder House Care Team – Richmond Fellowship


The Care Employer of the Year Award 2023 

Winner: L A Care Ltd

Highly Commended: Care Compassion & Conversation Ltd


Long-Term Service of the Year Award 2023 

Winners: Susan Vivier and Sandra Stowe – Beech Haven Care Home

Highly Commended: Katrina Kelbie – Dimensions


The Unpaid Carer of the Year Award 2023 

Winner: Phil Foster

Highly Commended: Lily Croft


The Volunteer Worker of the Year Award 2023

Winner: Meryl Smith – All Together in Charlbury (AITC)

Highly Commended: Pat Armstrong – Response Organisation – ‘Response Giving’


The Inspiration Award 2023

Winner: Mike Mitchell – Westinghouse Laundry Services

Highly Commended: SOFEA


Josie’s Award 2023

Winner: Sarah Rees – Oxfordshire Shared Lives Scheme

Highly Commended: Peter Anthony – Style Acre


The Leadership of the Year Award 2023

Winner: Nancy Walters – Mumby’s Live-In Care Ltd

Highly Commended: Karen Stay – Aston Cote Day Centre (for the over 65’s)


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