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Yarmouth care homes bag top prizes at awards

PUBLISHED: 13:32 21 February 2014 | UPDATED: 13:32 21 February 2014

Norfolk Care Awards 2014. Pictured: Delivering Excellence Through Learning & Development - Avery Lodge. Photo: Supplied

Norfolk Care Awards 2014. Pictured: Delivering Excellence Through Learning & Development - Avery Lodge. Photo: Supplied

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A Great Yarmouth care home is on cloud nine after bagging at top prize at the Norfolk Care Awards.

More than 300 people attended the awards ceremony at Dunston Hall in Norwich last Thursday night where Avery Lodge Residential Home was nominated in three categories.

And staff could barely contain themselves when the small home in Southtown Road won the Archant sponsored delivering excellence through learning and development award.

Owner-managers Sherylanne and Karl Hodgins have run the independent home for 12 years and said winning was like “walking on the clouds”.

Sherylanne, 50, said: “I would like to say cloud nine but I think really it’s cloud 99.

“We were stunned that we got through to the finals for three categories, and that we were the most nominated home, as we are a very small, tiny, independent home. To find out we were even nominated was lovely.”

The home cares for 14 residents aged 65 and over, some with mental illness. It employs 19 people and Sherylanne, who was also highly commended in the motivational leadership category, said every one is integral to the team. She added all Avery Lodge staff, including the chef and the housekeepers, are NVQ qualified to ensure they understand the “ethos of care”.

“My team and my service users have been bouncing off the walls and singing,” she said. “There is not enough words to say how we are feeling - it’s like winning three Oscars.

“We are just a tiny cog in a big wheel and we are now hoping that people who are looking at care homes, will start to look at the small independent ones, like us.”

Future plans for the home includes becoming an I Care ambassador, to help promote working in adult social care, and developing academic progress at the home.

The other Great Yarmouth-based winner was Eversley Nursing Home, which won the effective coordination of end of life care award.

Ewa Kujawa, manager of the home in North Denes Road, said the accolade was testament to all the staff, from the maintenance men to carers and nurses. “Our achievement and success with end of like care is based on consistent high quality care, which we provide to residents their relatives,” she added.

“It’s very important for us to look after the relatives and also make sure that end of life experience is never traumatic.

“The whole staff is involved in making sure we provide that high quality service for our clients and their families.”

The awards were supported by Norfolk County Council, Norfolk and Suffolk Dementia Alliance, Norfolk Independent Care and English Community Care Association, HealthCare Homes, and N-Able.

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