CARE workers at Belong care village in Atherton have been recognised for their dedication and professionalism at the annual Champion Awards, which were hosted via live stream for the first time.

Belong villages across the North West, were brought together for the ceremony, with colleagues, customers and relatives watching and cheering on village teams online.

In total, 32 finalists in 12 categories were recognised during the event, in roles ranging from housekeepers and bistro assistants to support workers in the villages and the wider community. The winners were chosen by an independent judging panel following a rigorous assessment process, including in-depth interviews with candidates.

Kelly Haddock, lead senior support worker at Belong Atherton, took home the Mentor award, with judges praising her for proactively seeking development opportunities for herself and others. Kelly was a finalist along with Barbara Scott, head housekeeper at Belong Wigan, and Angela Moore, a nurse at Belong Atherton.

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Christine Thomas, the village’s bistro and catering manager, won the Innovation award.

The judges said: “Christine believes that because the world doesn’t stand still, Belong can’t either. She embraces change and innovation and makes improvements happen, for all customers and staff.”

Emma Pentland, senior support worker at Belong Wigan was also nominated for the Innovation Award. Lisa Wynne, a recently qualified nurse at Belong Wigan, was named newcomer of the year.

The three winners were presented with their trophies in their respective villages.

Other nominations for Belong Atherton and Wigan team members at the awards included Debbie Wyche, community senior support worker (for the Compassion Award), and support workers of Belong Atherton’s Ena Household (for the Team Award).

The Atherton branch of Belong’s home care service, Belong at Home, was also nominated for the community engagement award.