Double award success for East Durham care home manager

A care home manager has had her work recognised twice in a national aards scheme.

Sunday, 2nd May 2021, 4:14 pm
Abbeyvale Care Centre manager Julie Shields
Abbeyvale Care Centre manager Julie Shields

Julie Shields, manager at the Abbeyvale Care Centre in Laidler Close, Blackhall Colliery, won both the Manager of the Year and Pandemic Star of the Year honours at the National Care Group Annual Awards.

Julie joined the centre, part of the National Care Group, as a care assistant in 2000 and has now been manager for 11 years.

Abbeyvale provides residential care for people with learning and physical disabilities as well as mental illness and autism spectrum disorders.

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Julie has been recognised for always putting the wellbeing of her team and the people they supports at the forefront of the centre’s operations.

Julie was also named ‘Pandemic Star of the Year’ in a live poll during the online event.

She said: “I’m over the moon. it still hasn’t sunk in properly yet. We put our home into lockdown two weeks before we were instructed, and I strongly believe that this made a massive difference to keeping our home Covid-free.

"I suffered a stroke early in the pandemic, but came back after six weeks because I wanted to be there for my colleagues and the people we support. In my absence, National Care Group were truly incredible in supporting my team and ensuring all their needs were met.

“I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who nominated me, all of my wonderful colleagues who have truly gone above and beyond throughout the pandemic, and the families who have been so understanding and supportive.”

James Allen, chief executive of the National Care Group, said: “We’re incredibly proud of the work Julie has done over the past year.

"The nominations we received detailed how hard she fought to ensure the safety of every single person at Abbeyvale at the height of the pandemic, and the fact that the centre didn’t have a single coronavirus case is a testament to that.

"She also went above and beyond during lockdown, organising birthday celebrations and socially-distanced performances in the car park.

"There’s no doubt that she’s a very worthy winner.”