Lowesoft and Halesworth care providers among those picked for final of 2017 Suffolk Care Awards

Jamin Wilson, Rebecca Hopfensperger, Ron Clare, Liz Taylor, Hilary Gibbs, Louise Whitley, Sharon Har

Jamin Wilson, Rebecca Hopfensperger, Ron Clare, Liz Taylor, Hilary Gibbs, Louise Whitley, Sharon Harkin, Mark Hawes at the 2016 Suffolk Care Awards Presentation Dinner held at The Hangar Kesgrave Hall. Picture: DAVID GARRAD

Dementia-friendly care homes, forward-thinking mental health services and a café for people with disabilities are among those through to the final of the 2017 Suffolk Care Awards.

A total of 16 care homes, organisations and individuals have been selected as finalists in the Ipswich area, six in Bury St Edmunds, four in Stowmarket, two in Lowestoft and one each in Halesworth, Woodbridge and Saxmundham.

The judging panel – which for the first time includes a relative of a care service user – awards the accolades based on the quality of care provided by nursing homes, hospices and individual workers.

Launched in February, entries for the awards closed in March and a shortlist was made.

Liz Taylor, chairman of hosts at The Suffolk Brokerage, said: 'Yet again, we have seen some outstanding examples of great care and exemplary care practice in Suffolk. Selecting the category finalists has also been a hard job for the judges.

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'We have selected some stand-out examples of great care practice in Suffolk.'

Beech House in Halesworth is among the finalists in the Promoting Dignity and Respect in Everyday Life category.

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The Leading Lives Compass Café in Lowestoft is one of three finalists in the Food and Catering category, while the Leading Lives FABBA theatre group in Lowestoft is on the list for the Culture, Creativity and Activities award.

Alexandra Kennan from Ipswich-based Consensus Support has been nominated for a special recognition award alongside four others.

Hilary Gibbs, chairman of the Suffolk Association of Independent Care Providers (SAICP) said: 'For the first time, we have added a relative of a service user to the judging panels and this has been very informative and useful in getting another perspective.

'The Awards are fast becoming Suffolk's social care highlight of the year. Tickets go on sale shortly and the event is a fantastic opportunity to support the sector and to network. Suffolk has some wonderful examples of care practice that everyone should know about, and we are very much looking forward to announcing the winners.'

The awards ceremony will take place at Trinity Park in Ipswich on September 28.

The full list of finalists is available at www.suffolkcareawards.com

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