Our Very Own Hero!

We love celebrating the success of our staff members, so we are thrilled that our Managing Director, Gordon Anderson, was recently recognised in the Great British Care Awards regional finals, being given a special award for “Social Care Covid Hero”. We caught up with Gordon to find out more about what this means to him…

What exactly does the Great British Care Awards mean by “Social Care Covid Hero”?
It’s defined as someone or a group of people who went and above and beyond during the pandemic. Our team were recognised as we took on clients when many companies were turning them away, and even at the darkest times we kept going. I was chosen to receive this award, but it was for the collective efforts of the whole team here at Cavell Healthcare

What is your definition of the word hero?
I believe a hero is a real person (not Spiderman!) who, in the face of danger doesn’t run away. They are someone who combats adversity through feats of ingenuity, courage, or strength and does if for others before themselves. I passionately believe all frontline staff are heroes – they have faced all these challenges and more since the arrival of COVID and yet they have kept on going.

What does the award mean to you?
To receive any award is special but to receive this particular award reaffirms my belief that I am lucky to have so many amazing people with me as part of the Cavell family. It’s teamwork that makes the dream work.

Do you think the industry and the work your carers do has changed as a result of Covid-19?
Not enough. It is mentioned more and more on the national news that the whole sector needs investment. There is an army of fantastic people working in the sector who simply do not get the financial recognition they deserve; these people work around the clock, they get tired and yet somehow, they keep going, because they care.

What did you do to keep you staff motivated and resilient during the lockdowns?
The most important thing as far as I was concerned was that my team knew that we were there for them. The senior team supported the field staff by helping on care calls and we put rewards in place, with goody bags give-aways including min breaks. We also ran prize draws with prizes including holidays, and even a car! We did this just to say we know you are amazing, we know you give everything you can and we know you get tired and that your families often come second, so we try to show our appreciation the best we can. In fact we have just ordered a record number of Christmas hampers for our whole team so they and their families can have the best Christmas possible.

Has your business suffered or changed as a result of the pandemic?
It has. Covid definitely brought us new challenges, but I think this has made us more resilient, as we have been tested and we have come through it, perhaps with a few scars but it has made us generally stronger and more committed than ever before. There is no question our costs came under enormous strain but my hope is that the whole sector has done is enough to show central government that we stood up when needed the most, and now we need investment to make caring an attractive profession and attract more much-needed carers into the field.

You weren’t the only person from Cavell to pick up an award on the night – Sarah Cawdron received the “Dignity in Care” award. What does it mean to you when a staff member is recognised in this way?
Obviously, I am thrilled! It is what these awards are really about – the people who deliver great care 365 days a year. Sarah is a truly special and caring person so I am delighted she was recognised, but I also believe that it could have been awarded to any of our team and would have been well deserved.

We are heading into winter and with Covid still very much prevalent in our day-to-day lives, as well as the additional challenges the vulnerable people in your care face. Is it a harder time of year for you? Are you taking extra measures to support your clients at this time?
It is going to be a long, tough winter. Staff are already tired and the pressure is showing. I also feel that this winter is going to be extremely tough on those we support and the more vulnerable members of our community. However, I hope everyone will do what they can to protect themselves with both booster and flu vaccinations and for our part, we will continue to do everything we can to deliver the best support possible to those that rely on us, through the deployment of the best care staff in the sector.