Staff at borough's Belong care villages scoop impressive prize haul at awards ceremony

The awards winners from the borough
The awards winners from the borough

Staff at two borough care villages have been crowned champions at their not-for-profit provider’s awards ceremony.

Belong Wigan in Platt Bridge and Belong Atherton were toasting a number of prizes from the annual event run by the organisation.

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General manager of Belong Wigan Gill Menguy won Leader of the Year, while the bistro and catering manager at the Millers Lane village got an Innovation Award. Volunteer of the Year was Rowland Horrocks who runs coffee mornings at the Mealhouse Lane base.

Ms Menguy won after Belong Wigan was rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission and was again placed in the Top 20 North West care homes by a website league table based on customer reviews.

Ms Menguy said: “I am proud to see our people recognised for their innovation and contribution to the ongoing development of our village.

“The truth is that it is the commitment of every member of our team that enables Belong Wigan to keep going from strength to strength.”

The judging panel praised Ms Menguy for being “a fantastic leader with great evidence of outstanding outcomes for her residents”.

Unusual ideas in the kitchen also impressed the panel, commending Ms McEwan for “total commitment to providing the best possible service for each customer and each member of staff”.

Mr Horrocks, meanwhile, got the volunteer accolade after being praised for how “he puts so much of himself in the coffee mornings, we could really see how he lifts people’s spirits and brings happiness every week”.

His was not the only success for Belong Atherton in the category celebrating those who give up their time for nothing to help.

Julie Washington, general manager of Belong Atherton, said: “Volunteers make an incredible contribution to the activities we are able to provide in the village, so we were particularly delighted to see Rowland recognised as Volunteer of the Year.

“We are truly grateful to all our volunteers who generously give their time to our customers and congratulate Rowland and also the highly commended Jean and David Bradley, who run our popular singing group.”

Other awards connected to the borough included Mentor of the Year for Rachael Gray, Belong’s practice development facilitator who provides training to the home care teams in Wigan and Atherton.

The practice development team, which includes dedicated trainers Julie Burton for Wigan and Bridget Lawler for Atherton, also took the Embracing Change Award.

The candidates were interviewed by an external independent judging panel of social care experts, who put them through their paces as part of the assessment process.

The ceremony was held at the historic Vale Royal Abbey in Northwich in Cheshire.