HOFE MENCAP STAFF AWARDS B (2)CARE needs to be seen as a career – that was the call from the CEO of a Stratford-based charity which supports those with learning disabilities across Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

Helena Wallis, Chief Executive of Heart of England Mencap, was speaking after the charity’s annual staff awards, held at Stratford School.

Categories at the awards included Carer of the Year, Team of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and Going the Extra Mile. Volunteers were also recognised and thanked, as were those receiving both 10 and 20 year Service Awards.

Speaking afterwards, Helena called for care to be seen as a career, citing Operations Manager Hayley Hemmings as an example.

Hayley started as a support worker, being promoted to team leader, manager, then registered manager and then registered care home manager.

The next step up saw Hayley appointed Operations Manager for Heart of England Mencap – a position in which she is responsible for managing the operations of a charity with a £2.8m turnover.

“This example just shows the career path care can take you down, and it is one which is too often overlooked,” Helena said.

“Without our team of highly-trained, truly dedicated carers our charity simply could not exist and support all of the people it does. It’s a challenging but hugely rewarding career.”

Heart of England Mencap , with its head office in Clifford Chambers, just outside Stratford, provides wide range of services across Warwickshire and Worcestershire supporting those with learning disabilities.

These services include supported living, residential care, outreach care, short breaks and respite and a range of day activities across the region.

The charity’s Staff Awards Evening was held on Saturday September 20th.

The Shipston team were named Team of the Year, with support worker Sophia Perez Mourin winning Newcomer of the Year.

A special award – Going the Extra Mile – was awarded to Katie Berry, Team Leader at Pathway, Heart of England Mencap’s day activity group.

Pathway Assistant Val Rainbow also received a trophy, for Fundraising.

See more on the awards and the staff honoured on Facebook and Twitter, using #hofenoms14.