Staff at Shropshire Care Company named among the best carers in the region in the Great British Care Awards

A Shropshire Care Company is celebrating after two of its care staff were given top national accolades in the Great British Care Awards.

The winners of the Great West Midlands Care Awards 2015 were announced at a glittering awards ceremony at Edgbaston Stadium, last week and two care workers from Bluebird Care, based in Bayston Hill, Shrewsbury, were crowned winners of their categories.

Barbara Stevens, who moved to the UK from Canada and started working for the company in in October 2013, was named the ‘Home Care Worker of the year’.

Multi award-winning Bluebird Care, entered Barbara because of her “naturally caring and fun-loving nature which she injects into all that she does.”

Director of the company, Ian Barnes, said: “Barbara has a very kind, motherly nature and looks after and supports all the care colleagues in her area, making sure they meet up for a coffee to support each other on a regular basis and share best practice, ideas and news about customers.

“She volunteered to be part of our pilot scheme ‘Care 4 Me at Home,’ which offers 24/7 emergency out of hours on-call care in south Shropshire with local GP’s and other partners, to help people avoid hospital admission and stay living independently at home.

“She also works with an elderly gentleman who lives with dementia and discovered he loved old music. So she went to charity shops, bought some tapes, took the time to learn the words and found she had a love for the same music. She regularly takes the music with her to the gentleman’s calls and they sing together whilst carrying out tasks around the house which helps his own independence. This is why Barbara has now been promoted to senior care worker for her commitment to this industry.”

Barbara, from Craven Arms, said: “It was really unexpected to win, but for me, the reward is the job itself – it’s working with the customers. Winning this award was just the icing on the cake, it’s the best early 40th birthday present I could have wished for.”

The other winner was Emma Tomkinson who won the ‘Dignity in Care Award’, which recognises an individual who demonstrates user independence and choice, whilst respecting and maintaining their privacy and dignity.


Emma, from near Baschurch, who worked in farming before coming to care said she had felt ‘demoralised’ having been turned down for a number of jobs, without ‘mainstream’ qualifications and was ‘completely surprised’ to win.

“It’s very hard to choose a favorite part of this job as I just feel very blessed and the team I work alongside in Oswestry is amazing. How many people can smile on their way to work even at 6.30am in the morning but I do! I love being a part of something so honourable, the giving of time, to care in whatever way is requested for another human being and how even the smallest gesture can impact on that person in a big way. I am delighted to have won this award,” she said.

Ian said: “Emma is jolly and her personality is infectious. She worked with a customer with severe depression. When we first started working with this man he wouldn’t open up and was really closed off to care. Emma has worked tirelessly with him and through compassion, understanding and the very highest level of care, they have developed a strong professional relationship.

“She found out he enjoys poetry and will take poems she had sourced and thinks he would enjoy with her. She’s been instrumental in his continued recovery she has helped him to clean his house and encouraged him to live his life to the full. I am thrilled Emma and Barbara were very worthy winners on the night in this notoriously tough awards and congratulations to all our staff who were shortlisted.”

Other Bluebird Care staff who were shortlisted for an award included care worker, Jane James, Registered Manager, Claire Flavell, Assistant Care Manager, Kirsty Holland, Commercial Manager, Amanda Jones and supervisor, Claire Gwilliam.

Barbara and Emma will now go through to the national round of the Great British Care Awards at Birmingham’s ICC in Spring 2016.

Bluebird Care Shropshire covers Shrewsbury, Church Stretton, Oswestry, Whitchurch, Market Drayton, Wem and Ellesmere, and was last year also crowned the Best Care Business of the Year in the Shropshire Partners in Care Awards and in October this year was handed the inaugural Founder’s Award for its ‘outstanding contribution’ to the sector nationally.

For more information about Bluebird Care, call 01743 874343, email [email protected] or visit