Our Chairman Ken Nolan named among top care industry leaders

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Ken Nolan, chairman of Accrington’s Springhill Care Group, has been named one of the top care professionals in the UK.

Ken, founder of the award-winning Group, which operates three care homes in Lancashire and Bristol along with a supported living service, was shortlisted for the 2012 UK Social Care Top 30, run in conjunction with industry magazine Care Talk.

The top 30 list, designed to showcase ‘real leadership and excellence’ in the sector, included representatives from across the industry.

Ken is also chair of the Lancashire Care Association and a founding member of the Social Care Partnership in Lancashire.

He was shortlisted alongside major names in the national care industry including the chief executives of the Care Quality Commission and English Community Care Association.

The winner was chosen at an event in London hosted by the BBC’s Jeremy Vine and attended by hundreds of people.

Ken said: “I was surprised and flattered to be shortlisted for the top 30 award, particularly as I was nominated by colleagues and the shortlist was decided by our peers in the care sector.

“I am privileged to work alongside such exceptional people at Springhill, who consistently go the extra mile to ensure the best possible care and quality of life for those we support.”

 The overall winner was Jane Ashcroft, chief executive of national care organisation Anchor Trust.


Springhill Care Group welcomes the 'Dementia Friends' initiative

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Springhill Care Group has welcomed the government initiative on ‘Dementia Friends’ as a step in the right direction.

Ken Nolan, chairman of Springhill Care Group, a member of the Dementia Action Alliance, says it welcomes the announcement of the commitment to dementia.

He said: “This is good news and welcome that dementia is being raised as an issue. There are major long-term challenges but this helps to put it on the national agenda.

“We need more information on the subject to be shared among the public about the sheer scale and nature of dementia and how people can help in this way.”

Springhill Care thought it was important to provide a response to this important initiative, in hope to increase awareness. We operate three care homes and a supported living service and believe this has made a major commitment to dementia care. More recently, we have opened the Springhill Specialist Care Centre in Accrington and a new facility at Riversway Nursing Home in Bristol. Whilst, being recognised as providing excellent personalised care and support to people experiencing dementia at the Birch Green Care Home, Skelmersdale.

David Cameron has announced plans to recruit one million volunteer Dementia Friends capable of supporting people with the condition in their communities, wards and care homes.

The scheme is part of a package of measures to boost early diagnosis, to make wards and care homes more comfortable for people with dementia, and to help the public better understand the condition. There are currently 670,000 people with dementia in England, a number that is set to double in the next 30 years. The financial cost of dementia in the UK is £23 billion each year.

Springhill Care Group is also a member of the Dementia Action Alliance, which is made up of more than 100 organisations, all of which have signed up to a national dementia declaration which has been created in partnership with people with dementia and their carers.


Springhill Care Group scoops two National Care Awards!

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Staff at the Springhill Care Group in Lancashire have won two top national care awards.

Catherine Shawarby, General Manager at Birch Green Care Home in Skelmersdale, walked away with the Care Manager award at the 14th annual National Care Awards held recently.

Stephen Penketh, Registered Manager and Vici Beardsworth, Operations Manager at the Springhill Group’s Accrington-based supported living service, Affinity Supporting People, were jointly named winners of the Special Needs Manager award.

Birch Green provides high quality nursing and residential care for 74 older people and is part of the Lancashire-based Springhill Care Group.

Affinity is a not-for-profit company providing care services for young people with learning disabilities. Stephen described how he felt about receiving the award: ‘It is very humbling to receive this award. It makes the hard and sometimes difficult work we do extremely rewarding and extra special.  We appreciate that behind every good manager is an exceptional team which makes our position much easier, bringing the award back to the north west shows that this area is one of the best in the country.’

The trio were picked as winners from among the top care organisations and businesses in the country.

The National Care Awards, now in its 14th year, is one of the social care sector’s premier award ceremonies, run by trade magazine Caring Times. This year’s event took place at the Hilton London Metropole Hotel, featuring TV and radio host Roy Walker and 600 guests.

Ken Nolan, chairman of Springhill Care Group, said: “This was a great result for the team and a wonderful testimony to the quality of our managers.

“Affinity and Birch Green were picked above much larger care providers, and we are particularly proud to be bringing these awards back to the North West.

“Everyone at Birch Green, Affinity and across the Springhill Care Group have worked incredibly hard over the last 12 months as we have made significant investment into many of our services, and this success shows that we are leading the way in the quality of our care.”



Celebrating Halloween with a difference

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The Springhill Care Group has given residents at its three homes a Halloween with a difference.

With a focus on fun; residents, visitors and staff all got into the mood with decorations, baking and singing.

The smell of lavender and orange cake filled Springhill Care Home in Accrington and residents enjoyed pumpkin decorating.

Meanwhile, at Birch Green Care Home in Skelmersdale, a Halloween tea dance was the order of the day, with a selection of themed music put together by the home’s lifestyle team.

Homemade cup cake cream tea was on offer for all who took part in the day and the Skelmersdale care home was personally decorated by staff and residents.

Bristol’s Riversway Nursing Home invited local singer Dave Dean, a former star of TV’s Stars in their Eyes, to entertain residents.

The home was decorated for the occasion with spiders, pumpkins and ghosts, and residents got into the spirit with hats and masks.

Ken Nolan, chairman of Springhill Care Group, said: “Quality of life is key at all our homes and both residents and staff need no excuse to enjoy a celebration – whether it be Christmas, Easter or Halloween.

“I would like to thank everyone who took part and made these events so successful.”


Awards at the double for caring duo

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Staff at an Accrington-based care service have been named among the best in the region.

The duo, from Affinity Supporting People, a supported living service and part of the Springhill Care Group, walked away with two gongs at the Great British Care Awards’ North West regional finals.

Stephen Penketh, manager, won the Home Care Registered Manager Award, while his colleague Christopher Nolan, a support worker, won the Home Care Worker category -photographed together, top right.

The pair will now go on to take part in the national finals, due to take place later this year in London.

Springhill Care Group staff were also shortlisted for five other awards, including chairman Ken Nolan for the Outstanding Contribution to Social Care award; and a team from Affinity for the Putting People First Award.

Meanwhile, general manager of Springhill Care Group’s Birch Green Care Home in Skelmersdale, Catherine Shawarby, was a finalist in the Care Home Registered Manager Award; Karen House, lifestyle coordinator at Birch Green, for the Care Home Activity Organiser Award; and a team from Birch Green for the Putting People First Award.

The ceremony took place at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, with Coronation Street stars Julie Hesmondhalgh and David Neilson hosts for the evening. Julie, who has close ties to Accrington, spoke powerfully of her own experiences of the care sector.

Stephen Penketh, award-winning manager at Affinity Supporting People, said: “It was a real privilege to win this award, and neither of us expected it. The whole team work so hard every day, and it’s great to be recognised in this way.”


Awards & Accreditations





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Springhill Care Group Limited
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