Everyday heroes

While awards are regularly bestowed to the work of individuals within the Caremark network, Will Daynes discovers why each and every man and woman working for the brand deserves recognition of their own.

If Caremark have a trophy cabinet, chances are that by now it has needed several extra shelves installed. That or space needs to be cleared for a second cabinet altogether. Awards are by no means the only barometer of success in this world, in fact sometimes it is simply the heartfelt thanks of a customer or client, or the satisfaction of knowing that you are making a positive difference that gives us all the motivation we need. Nevertheless, receiving recognition from one's peers is never anything less than welcome and should rightly be celebrated.

Caremark is a business that is no stranger when it comes to accepting awards. Just last year, Janis Anderson, Managing Director of Caremark (Aylesbury and Wycombe), walked away with the British Franchise Association (bfa) HSBC Franchisee of the Year Award 2013 and the Female Franchisee of the Year Award at the annual gathering of franchisings finest at the ICC in Birmingham.

Since that night in October 2013, a number of other men and women within the Caremark family have gone on to receive nominations and awards for their tireless efforts and dedication to providing care. This past February, Care Manager Julia Andrew of Caremark (Norwich), attended the Norfolk Care Awards. Norman Lamb, Minister of State for Care & Support at the Department of Health and Liberal MP for North Norfolk, also attended the evening, lending his support to this new innovation. Julia was up against stiff competition from 100 other nominations, which saw her finish in the top three, before taking the runner’s up position of Highly Commended for the Motivational Leadership Award.

While she may not have won first place that night, Julia's very presence was again a testament to the work of Caremark (Norwich) and its employees.

Now looking to follow in the footsteps of Janis Anderson, and hopefully replicate her award success, Charles Folkes, Managing Director of Caremark (Redcar and Cleveland), will be in the running for the bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Award thanks to his shortlisting in the category of ‘Olderpreneur’. Understandably, Charles is delighted to have been nominated for the awards, viewing it as a culmination of more than 20 years of hard work, as well as a testament to the benefits gained from working with a strong franchise model and people who are prepared to make a success of themselves.

Nominations, awards and accolades are great of course, but Caremark makes sure to stress that whether or not an individual has been bestowed with a certificate, plaque or trophy, all its care workers are considered award winners. The reason for this is simple; each is responsible for performing a hugely important role in society and they do so while displaying the utmost in kindness, care and compassion. The professionalism, dedication and hard work of Caremark’s care workers are the key ingredients that have allowed the brand to earn and maintain such a strong reputation and brand recognition in the marketplace. Indeed, the Caremark name has become synonymous with high-quality home care and, accordingly, the outside world is recognising and endorsing this, in part through the awards it is bestowing on the brand and its care workers.

Caremark recognises that without its care workers there would be no Caremark itself. They are responsible for being the warm, friendly, reassuring face of the brand and what makes their efforts all the more inspiring is the fact that they take on this role while also juggling their own lives.

Many have families of their own and their own home lives demand a considerable amount of their time, energy and attention. As the vast majority of people will understand, balancing work and family commitments is no mean feat and requires considerable degrees of energy and organisation. As a result of such pressures, Caremark appreciates the need to nurture its care workers and assist them in staying passionate about their work, even during difficult or stressful times.

Caremark strives to make each and every one of its care workers feel like part of the vision the business is creating and therefore it gives it great pride to be able to acknowledge and appreciate their dedication and commitment whenever possible.

Caremark does not disguise the fact that care work can be demanding, mentally and physically, and that after a difficult day or week it can be all too easy for one to forget why he or she is doing such a special job in the first place. That is why it is all the more important to celebrate these individuals and to express admiration and gratitude for the work they do in delivering the best care and support to thousands of vulnerable individuals.

To become a care worker one has to possess the desire to work with, and care for, others, no matter what stage a person is in their life. It is a much more demanding job than most and thus care work is a profession that attracts only a certain type of individual. While a good proportion of the general public continues to relate care work to women, it is not, and hasn’t been for some time, solely dominated by females. Men are equally as suited to being good care workers if they have the drive, passion and spark within them.

As Caremark freely admits, anyone can become a care worker, but not just anyone will fit the job. All the more reason then to recognise and sing the praises of those men and women across the UK who are upholding the Caremark standard of care on a daily basis.