The chief executive of a Harrogate housing association has been awarded a prestigious care industry accolade.
Sue Cawthray who oversees the running of two care homes, Greenfield Court and Heath Lodge as part of Harrogate Neighbours Housing Association, as well as other support services has been recognised for her outstanding contribution to social care in the Great Yorkshire and Humber Care Industry Awards.
Commenting on her award, Mrs Cawthray said: “It’s a great feeling to know that not only my work but also the efforts of the great team around me have been recognised through this award.
“In the years that I’ve been involved in the care sector there has been a noticeable change in the way we look after and continue respecting people as they become older, including listening to their needs when it comes to introducing support packages. Faced with a growing elderly population, this will become an ever-more important aspect.”
She now goes through to the national finals of the Great British Care Awards that are judged next spring.
The accolade recognises Mrs Cawthray’s achievements in a career that spans more than 25 years.
After 17 years at Donisthorpe Hall residential care home in Leeds, Mrs Cawthray became chief executive of Harrogate Neighbours in 2005 and embarked on a programme of continuous service improvement.
This has included converting Greenfield Court into an Extra Care facility, enabling tenants to stay in their own home while being able to access care support.
Mrs Cawthray has also been at the forefront of driving up standards of nutrition within the care industry. As well as her involvement with the National Association of Care Catering, which included two years as chairman, she has also been a member of a national working group that developed a nutritional screening tool for people living in sheltered housing and published the Good Practice Guide – Addressing Malnutrition.
She has long championed the benefits of community meals in reducing the incidence of malnutrition and helping elderly people who still live at home to remain independent. This culminated two years’ ago with the launch of Harrogate Food Angels which now delivers a freshly-prepared meal five days a week to elderly customers across the town.
Last year she became a Dementia Champion and has since ensured all Harrogate Neighbours staff are now Dementia Friends to help change perceptions and increase the empathy towards those living with the disorder.
Mrs Cawthray also provides business support to South Leeds charity, Holbeck Elderly Aid, which is now ‘twinned’ with Harrogate Neighbours.