Now’s your chance to give a care professional a boost

Bringing colour, music and laughter to people’s lives is all in a day’s work for Ayanthi Gamage.

The 49-year-old is an activities co-ordinator at Langdale View Residential and Nursing Home in Leicester and is famous for her innovative sessions, including singing, dancing and dressing up.

Ayanthi’s creative flair with Langdale’s residents saw her named Dementia Care Professional of the Year in the LeicestershireLive Care Professional of the Year Awards 2020.

Today, she is calling on people to nominate their hero care workers for the 2022 awards and help shine a light on the incredible work that goes on in our communities.

“It was such a shock when I found out that I’d won,” said Ayanthi, who been in the job at Langdale for just six months when she found out she’d been nominated. Before that, she’d been working in retail as a store designer.

“I’d never done anything like this before and it was a totally new career path,” she added. “Winning an award, well, it just lifts you up – it gives you such a boost.”

Ayanthi works with residents of all ages, capabilities and needs, encouraging and inspiring them to try new things and, above all, make them smile.

“That’s the real satisfaction for me,” said Ayanthi, who lives near Langdale, which is in Gipsy Lane. “When you see on their faces that they’ve really enjoyed something.

“It’s the smiles and the thank-yous that make your day.”

The next LeicestershireLive Care Professional of the Year Awards, held in association with Inspired to Care, will be a virtual event on Thursday, February 10.

Nominations are open now for caring professionals and those who use the care service to name who they think deserves special recognition for their dedication.

We want to hear about the people who have gone that extra mile to help others.

Categories include Best Newcomer to Care, Dementia Carer of the Year, Supporting Independence and Palliative Care Professional of the Year. The full list is here.

After the nomination closing date on January 4, three finalists will be shortlisted within each category by the expert judging panel, made up of representatives from our sponsors and care service users.

Ayanthi said she loved being part of the 2020 awards – she even got her glad rags on for the virtual event.

“I was sitting in the living room with my daughter, watching it all,” she said. “I made sure I wore my heels!

“It’s a really good event because I think that everybody who works hard deserves to be recognised. It can be quite challenging sometimes and you need a lot of patience.”

Ayanthi said she plans to carry on working with Langdale’s residents, coming up with new and exciting sessions to keep everyone entertained.

She said: “I’ve done this job for a year now and it’s coming more naturally. The hard work definitely pays off in the end.”

  • To nominate a care professional and find out more regarding award categories, criteria, and event information CLICK HERE

Awards categories

Best Newcomer to Care
The Best Newcomer award is for a care professional who joined adult social care within the last year, from another sector, who has demonstrated excellent care and support and adopted all the values that make an excellent care professional.

Supporting Independence
Sponsored by emh care and support
This award will be given to a care professional that has gone above and beyond for the people they support and has really impacted positively on that person’s independence.

Auxiliary Professional in Adult Social Care Award
This award will recognise our social care auxiliary workforce, that go above and beyond, to support the operations of adult social care; for example chefs, cooks, administrators, trainers, cleaning, domestic, HR, payroll, recruitment etc. Their dedication to their role is inspiring and has been recognised by the people they support.

Dementia Care Professional of the Year
This award will be given to a care professional that has been truly exceptional when caring and supporting someone living with dementia.

Autism or Mental Health Support Professional of the Year
Sponsored by Langdale Care Homes
This award recognises the amazing contributions of a special care professional who has created positive outcomes for someone they support with either autism or mental health conditions.

Residential/Nursing/Extra Care/Supported Living Care Professional of the Year
This award is or a care professional who has demonstrated excellent care and support to people residing in residential, nursing, extra care or supported living environments.

Domiciliary/Community Care Professional/Personal Assistant of the Year
Sponsored byLangdale Care Homes
This award recognises the amazing contributions of a special care professional who has created positive outcomes for someone they support within domiciliary, homecare or community care or is a personal assistant in adult social care.

Palliative Care Professional of the Year
Sponsored by Cherrytree Care Home
Recognising a care professional that has gone above and beyond for the people they support and for their families, in their last days.

Care Leader of the Year
Sponsored by Rushcliffe Care
A very special senior care professional, team leader or manager will be celebrated in this category, for the way they support their teams and the people they support.

Inspired to Care Member of the Year
Sponsored by Inspired to Care
This award will go to a social care employer registered with the Inspired the Care project, who has attended, demonstrated, implemented and contributed to projects run by Inspired to Care with really positive outcomes.

Special Recognition Award
Sponsored by Mason Foodservice
This award is reserved for a care professional who deserves special recognition for something they have achieved for themselves, their service and/or a person they support.

Lifetime Achievement Award
Sponsored by Enable Inclusive Support
The Lifetime Achievement Award will recognise the career-long contributions of a truly special care professional.

LeicestershireLive Care Professional of the Year 2022
Sponsored by Inspired to Care
This is the overall winner of the LeicestershireLive Care Professional of the Year Awards. No nominations will be accepted in this category, it’ll be given to an outstanding individual that has won one of the other award categories.

Leicestershire Live – Leicester News