My reflections on the Heroes Awards event

A family member, who nominated Alderton House for Team of the year in our Heroes Awards, gives her feedback on the special day.

“If I had to choose one word to describe the award ceremony day, it would be ‘uplifting.’

We arrived in Milton Keynes to find a joyful atmosphere in the brightly decorated and spacious event suite, with a colourful stage set for the action. Achieve together’s homes and services are spread across England and Wales. Drawing the regional finalists of the various award categories together for this event provided a wonderful opportunity for people to meet each other and learn more about each other’s homes. I have two children at Alderton House in East Anglia, and I didn’t know before that the organisation had homes that included a residential farm, for example.

It was also a good opportunity to meet and share ideas and experiences with people on the board, team members who have more strategic roles, and people supported by Achieve together, as we sat in mixed groups having a drink beforehand and then enjoying lunch together.

We each had a booklet with short summaries of every national finalist, who had already won a regional award. The booklets were inspiring to such an extent that I have kept mine for future reference. I think it illustrates how difficult it must have been to choose ultimate winners from these groups of skilled and dedicated support professionals, who were already winners in every sense.

The event was brilliantly hosted by Mary Woodall Co-chair of Unity and other members of Unity were also involved. Unity is the co-production group drawn from people the organisation supports to ensure they are involved in the development of policy and strategy. Each award was presented jointly by an Executive Team or Board member with a member of Unity. I liked the thought that had gone into making the event as inclusive as possible, including a BSL interpreter signing throughout.

Inevitably it was an emotional event as stories describing the tireless, compassionate, and imaginative ways team members had supported those in their care unfolded. The tribute to a manager who died earlier in the year was also very touching.

There was a lot of laughter mixed with tears and of course suspense as winners were announced. We were thrilled when the team at our children’s home won ‘Team of the Year,’ and made sure we cheered them loudly! I went home feeling buoyed by what can be achieved with good leadership, relationships and a collaborative approach in the care sector. And I hope the marigold seeds hidden in my name card grow and flower as a reminder of a wonderful and memorable day.”

Tandy Harrison, Family member