“On Thursday (14th December 2006), Rachel, Jean, Gerald, Stuart & I went off to the Community Care Awards in London, to see whether our short-listing could translate into an award… no luck I’m afraid, but we had a good, if exhausting day…
We met up & caught the 7am airport bus. The flight was uneventful, & we escaped the airport clutches on the Heathrow Express, which hurled us into Paddington in a mere 15 minutes (a small miracle if you have ever taken the same journey by tube, but be warned it costs £27 return, which seems steep even by London rates!).
We then had a leisurely walk to Grosvenor Square, ably guided by Gerald, from the smallest map I have ever seen.
The Marriott Hotel was as expected, pretty swanky. We were met with drinks, & then went into a corporate style lunch. We had a good lunch, the best bits being a yummy pudding & beautiful unoaked chardonnay.
The event proper got underway after lunch & was expertly compared by Tony Robinson of Baldrick fame. The ‘Older People’ category (ours) was won by HOMEsafe, which aims to provide an all inclusive service to anyone over 60 to improve safety & quality of life at home. It looks like a really good project.
The overall prize went to the winner of the ‘Supporting Children & Families’ category, a Partners of Prisoners & Families Support Group, which has the added dimension of arranging ‘Family Days’, the aim being: ‘to develop a service that enables families & offenders to spend quality time together, take part in fun activities with their children, strengthen bonds & develop a role & responsibility within the family for the offender to return to.’ A very worthwhile project.
I think it’s important to acknowledge that these awards cover the whole spectrum of social care in all it’s diversity throughout Britain, & that hundreds of projects apply, so to have got through to the final was an fantastic achievement. Well done to all of you who have made it happen, & special thanks to Jenny & Rachel for setting the ball rolling, & to Rachel for applying for the award.”