Innovative Activity Programme WINS at Surrey Care Awards 2014

25th November 2014

Care Unlimited was extremely proud to nominate their Support Worker and now business partner Kevin Zuchowski-Morrison for his contributions to the ’Most Innovate Activity Programme’ award at the prestigious local Surrey Care Awards on Friday 21st November 2014, presented by Surrey Care Awards at Epsom Downs Racecourse.

The Awards are attended by the best of the Surrey’s independent care providers, and continues to be a fantastic evening and valuable opportunity to meet other innovative and inspirational people and organisations striving to deliver the highest quality health and social care.

Kevin, also a respected art dealer, has nurtured the use of art intervention and therapy within our care services into a brand new Charity called Arthalo, in which Care Unlimited is a partner. It is such a successful part of our overall activity programme that we wanted to submit it as an innovative programme in its own right. From initial hands on development exploring art with clients as a Support Worker in one of our Supported Living houses, we have worked with Kevin to harness his passion and create an Art Charity for people with Mental Health illnesses, Dementia, Learning Disabilities and Autism with a 12 week course. Hid dedication and passion to help our clients has been inspirational to all those around him, and so beneficial to the students he has worked with.

Kevin gave the following response to winning the category: "What an amazing journey we've started on. I just cannot believe how far we have come in such a short space of time. Being with Care Unlimited has been nothing short of amazing their support and encouragement within this process has just been first rate in every aspect. I feel nothing short of honoured to receive this award and am so grateful to all involved. More than anything to the wonderful service users who make the art they are the real stars in all this!"

Clients have been encouraged to expand all aspects of their lives and we have chosen to adopt ‘Lifestyle’ as a more all encompassing term which includes everyday living activities and structured/more leisure and pastime activities. Kevin’s work has focused strongly on an activity which permits self-expression, as well as driving therapeutic activity, and is sustained throughout the week, as the accompanying carer is also encouraged and trained in how to nurture artistic expression and development when the client is at home.

Reza Shamtally, Commercial Director explains: "We are soon going a stage further to introduce a very talented new member of the team currently completing a degree in Art Psychotherapy, which will allow Arthalo and Care Unlimited to further develop their understanding of individuals and nurture expression and where possible talent.

We now intend to train key workers and activity organisers in the power of art therapy. Again, carers as well as the students themselves attend the courses and will be encouraged to continue development where appropriate in the care home or at home."

Click here to learn more about ArtHalo at www.arthalo.org. Arthalo currently runs at Care Unlimited's Weavers Resource Centre and shall very soon be extending its services to serve the Croydon area from the brand new RISE Gallery in St.Georges Walk, another exciting and re-vitalising project that Care Unlimited is partnering in Croydon!

"SURREY CARE AWARDS, THE OSCARS FOR CARE WORKERS"

Over 370 care employers and staff celebrated this year’s awards which were presented by distinguished performer and writer Sir Richard Stilgoe OBE. Sir Richard founded the Orpheus Centre in 1997, and continues to direct courses there in music theatre and song-writing. In special recognition of his achievements in the care sector Sir Richard was also presented with an honorary award by the chairman of Surrey Care Association, Richard Williams.

Now in their sixth year, The Surrey Care Awards are the county’s ‘Oscars’ for care workers. Organised by the Surrey Care Association, these Awards recognise the dedication of people working in a wide variety of jobs in adult social care including dementia care, caring for people in their own homes and caring for adults with learning disabilities. The 64 finalists for the Surrey Care Awards 2014 were nominated by their colleagues, with glowing and often very moving testimonials from service users and their families.

This year there were 16 award categories open to care providers and their staff including Dementia Care Team, Beyond the Call of Duty, Manager of the Year, Care Newcomer, Ancillary Worker, and Outstanding Contribution to Social Care. The compère for the Awards evening was BBC Surrey presenter Sylvie Blackmore.

Surrey Care Association represents the interests of over 700 independent providers of care and support services in the county. Chief Executive Erica Lockhart said, “Our Awards judges had an exceptionally hard time choosing winners this year as so much really excellent care goes on here in Surrey. Our annual Awards celebrate the hard work and commitment of care staff who are so often unsung heroes so this is our big opportunity to shout it from the rooftops! The care sector is one of the county’s biggest employers and offers a wide range of rewarding employment opportunities from cooks and gardeners to activity workers and nurses. Our Awards are also helping raise the profile of this vital area of the Surrey economy.”