Inspiring care workers recognised with awards

Julie's 35-year career is recognised with double success

Winners at the Care Professional of the Year event

‘Local heroes’ have been celebrated for their inspirational achievements within the care industry.

Inspired to Care, a Leicestershire County Council team promoting the work of care professionals and encouraging people to consider employment in the care industry, hosted the awards ceremony honouring social care professionals.

The event at Leicester Racecourse was organised in conjunction with Leicester City Council to promote charting a career in adult social care.

The winners were recognised for a variety of successes, such as their dedication and service to others and for overcoming personal difficulty.

They included Julie Rudd, from Vista Care Homes, who scooped both the lifetime achievement award and care professional of the year award. Julie has worked in the sector for 45 years.

Julie had been due to retire in early 2020, but, with the outbreak of Covid 19, stayed on in her role, ensuring the home where she works operated at its best in difficult times.

Julie said she was “absolutely thrilled” to receive the award.

Steve Payne, Vista’s director of care and services, said: ‘I am so proud of Julie, these awards are so well deserved. Throughout her career, she has worked tirelessly in putting first the needs of residents and staff."


Care is an essential part of society because, no matter what, we always need to lean on each other. That’s truer than ever with the sector under immense pressure to deliver in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis. Through this event, I hope people can see our appreciation for care professionals, that they’re being recognised and commemorated as a real force for good. This is a career path that can be hugely rewarding.


Deputy city mayor for social care and anti-poverty, Cllr Sarah Russell, said: “We all recognise what a hugely challenging time it is to be working in social care at the moment. I’m so proud of the talented and dedicated professionals we have in Leicester and Leicestershire who continue to put people first and uphold high standards of care.”

Representatives for the sponsors of the night were also in attendance, and each gifted a prize to the winners. The sponsors were: Wood St Optical, 3ABCare, Leicester City Council, Leicester Racecourse, Everyone Active, RoundSys, Enable Inclusive Support, the National Space Centre and Gorse Hill City Farm.

Care professionals in a variety of roles were celebrated to reflect the many different experiences available within the care industry.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Support Professional of the Year

Tracey Donnelly

Learning Disability Professional of the Year

Jane Copperwheat

Palliative Care Professional of the Year

Michelle Colbourne

Care Leader of the Year

Lisa Tuckley

Mental Health Professional of the Year

Paddi Jo Waldron

Best Newcomer to Social Care

Kathy Hillcoat

Volunteer of the Year

Nazir Kassam

Lifetime Achievement

Julie Rudd

Inspired to Care Member of the Year

Grey Ferrers Care Home

Care Professional of the Year

Julie Rudd



Adult social care can be a rewarding career, with many types of roles available within Leicester and Leicestershire.

For more information about working in care, and the Inspired to Care team, visit 


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