Registered nurse Anna Lesniak and driver Barrie Coleman were winners at the Great British Care Awards last week in Brighton, and were presented with their prizes by TV comedian Helen Lederer.
Anna won her award in the Frontline Care Leader of the Year category, while Barrie was named Ancillary Care Worker of the Year. They were winners in the competition’s South-East region, and automatically qualify as finalists in the national event next spring.
Anna came to Britain from Poland in 2004, and has been with PJ Care for more than seven years.
She worked as a unit manager for the majority of that time leading a team providing care for people with progressive neurological disorders, and more recently took on the role of practice development nurse.
She is an expert in the field of nursing care for people with Huntington’s Disease, a genetic disorder which affects muscle co-ordination
Anna said: “Winning this award is such a thrill. I really love my job and don’t really feel that is work.
“It’s like being a member of big family where everyone supports each other. As a team we have one goal – which is provide the best quality of care to our residents.
“Without every single person in our family I wouldn’t have been able to achieve what I have.”
Driver Barrie Coleman won his award after PJ Care told the judges he ‘regularly exceeds expectations, going about his work in a professional and friendly manner and regularly receiving high praise from residents and their families’.
Sue Kinglea, general manager for the PJ Care’s Milton Keynes centres, said: “Barrie goes out of his way to put the needs of residents first, often juggling his transport diary to fit in last-minute outings.
“Barrie is a ‘can do’ person, and every day exhibits the values of PJ Care of care, compassion and commitment to residents, relatives and staff.”
Barrie said: “It was an amazing evening – and one I’ll never forget.
“I’d like to thank everyone at PJ Care who has helped and supported me in my work and made my job so happy and rewarding.”
Neil Russell, chief operating officer with PJ Care, said: “We’re extremely proud of Anna and Barrie – they really deserve their awards for the work they do. We’re also proud of carer Carol Harding, who was a finalist in the Carer of the Year category.