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Morecambe care team leader wins national award

A team leader at supported living services in Morecambe and Lancaster has been recognised for her “contagious passion for caregiving” with a national award.

Joanne McMillan, who is from Morecambe, was named Team Leader of the Year at the national Housing With Care Awards.

Judges praised Joanne for igniting enthusiasm and unity among her teams and her “visionary approach”.

She received her award at a gala dinner held at London’s Hilton Bankside Hotel. The host of the awards, actor and comedian Steve Wells, described how Joanne “leads by both example and fervour, steers the ship, instigates change, and upholds the core values driving the purpose of care.”

Joanne manages supported living services on Marine Road in Morecambe, and Millstone Court, Pinfold Lane, Brooklands Court and The Reeds in Lancaster. She has been with Making Space, the national health and social care charity that operates the supported living services, for nine years. 

She was promoted to team leader just 12 months ago, after working her way up from support worker and senior support worker – making her the winner of a prestigious national award after less than a year of leadership.

“I really appreciate the thought that went into nominating me, but I honestly couldn’t do any of it without the whole team,” Joanne said of her award. “It was such a shock to be told I’d been nominated, never mind hear my name announced as the national winner!

“But it is a team effort, and while I’m so grateful to be recognised and to have the opportunity to go to such a wonderful event, the award is for all of eight of us in recognition of the hard work we do, and love, every day.”

The Team Leader award is given to a senior member of staff who has shown a clear commitment to improving the delivery of care and support within their organisation

Joanne was nominated by manager Jenny MacLeod who said: “Joanne embodies the Making Space values of inspiring and inclusive leadership.

“She shows unwavering dedication, kindness, gratitude and passionate advocacy for colleagues and people who use our services. Building confident, motivated, skilled and happy teams who consistently deliver positive outcomes is integral to the Making Space commitment to ensuring everyone has a voice and feels valued.

“With leaders like Joanne, we can attract, develop and retain motivated and passionate people who put wellbeing at the heart of health and social care. We’re delighted that her hard work and commitment have been recognised with this award. We also applaud all the other very worthy finalists and nominees who inspire others through strong leadership and best practice.”

Shane Parnell, associate director of operations, Making Space, said: “Joanne is generous with her time, always putting others first to ensure their wellbeing and success.

She has a profound understanding of the roles within her team and the intricacies of the care industry, which enable her to provide strong, consistent support. Whether it's through implementing innovative solutions, advocating for resources, or simply lending a supportive presence, she sets standards that motivate people to be their very best.

“Thanks to Joanne and her equally dedicated colleagues across Making Space, we can achieve our goals of building relationships, connecting communities and providing quality care as unique as the people we support.”

Care Talk magazine’s Housing with Care Awards recognise and celebrate excellence in accommodation and services for integrated retirement communities, people with learning disabilities and people with mental health problems, retirement villages, assisted living, extra care housing and supported living and shared lives schemes.

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