Community Integrated Care: Celebrating award-winning social care careers

Community Integrated Care: Celebrating award-winning social care careers

Community Integrated Care is one of the UK’s biggest and most successful social care charities. Employing more than 6,000 caring and committed colleagues throughout England and Scotland, they support over 3,000 people who have learning disabilities, autism, mental health concerns and dementia, to live with choice and independence in their communities.

With an aspirational vision of ensuring that the people they support, and the people who support them, live the best lives possible, the charity has displayed an enduring commitment to its colleagues. Investing over £12 million pounds in colleague pay and wellbeing over the past two years, and pioneering in sector-leading learning and development programmes, Community Integrated Care demonstrates just how rewarding a career in care can be.

Testament to this, the charity has been proudly celebrating a line-up of award-winning colleagues and teams over the past few weeks at the Great British Care Awards. Here’s a spotlight on some of their winners:

A flying start to leadership

Just months into his first role as a Service Leader, Chris Christie has made a huge impact. Chris’ relentless dedication was recognised at this year’s Great British Care Awards North East, where he was crowned Frontline Leader of the Year.

In the heart of Berwick-Upon-Tweed, Henderson Court opened in October last year to support people with learning disabilities to live fulfilling and independent lives. Community Integrated Care were on the lookout for a dynamic leader to realise this potential.

At this time, Chris was a Support Worker who had recently enrolled onto the charity’s ambitious internal leadership programme, Learn to LEAD. Leaders really saw a spark in Chris, and he was supported to step up to the challenge of managing the new service and showcasing his natural leadership skills.

Just over a year on, Henderson Court is thriving, with colleagues feeling confident and empowered, and people supported already achieving some fantastic outcomes – from developing life-changing relationships, to accessing new opportunities and introducing healthier lifestyles.

Reflecting on his journey, Chris said: 

“At the beginning of last year, I was looking to take the next step in my career and find a role with more responsibility. However, I wasn’t sure what this could look like in social care and was considering exploring jobs in other sectors. When I heard about the Learn To LEAD programme, I felt inspired, and soon found that there were lots of opportunities for progression and career development within the charity.”

“The programme is absolutely brilliant. It opens up so many opportunities, whilst also encouraging you to learn more about yourself and your potential. It was through the programme that I found an opportunity to move into a Service Leader role and now I’m proud to be leading three services across Sunderland, and to have been recognised for a care sector award for my hard work.”

Care with a creative flair

At Community Integrated Care, a career in social care is what you make it! Supporting people to live the best lives possible requires resourcefulness and ingenuity, and provides a unique opportunity for colleagues to be really creative and bring their talents and passions into their role.

This couldn’t be more true for Support Worker, Phillip Gahan, who recently won the Support Worker of the Year at the Great British Care Awards North West.

Creating custom guitars, organising talent shows and planting vegetable patches are all in a day’s work for Phill. Praising his creative approach and commitment to professional development, awards judges said, “Phillips’s dedication goes above and beyond, and his creative touch creates cherished and unforgettable moments for all.”

Currently part of the team at Community Integrated Care’s Holmdale service in Runcorn, Phill was delighted to be receive this prestigious award and was even interviewed on BBC Radio Merseyside to share his pride.

Speaking of his achievements, Phill said:

“To have my creative approach to support recognised makes my artistic heart buzz! I believe that bringing art and creativity to my role as Support Worker, and looking outside the box when I've faced new challenges, has enhanced the support I provide.”

“I've endeavoured to make the everyday exciting, entertaining and fun for the people I support, empowering them to truly live the best lives possible. I'm so proud and grateful for the recognition.”


Teams that transform lives

Teamwork is at the very heart of social care and embarking on a career in social care also means joining a dream team of people with shared values, who strive to transform lives for the better.

When a team celebrates each other’s differences and strengths, magic happens - and the camaraderie and team spirit is electric in Community Integrated Care’s Mallard Drive service in Aberdeenshire. So much so, they were awarded the ‘Putting People First’ accolade at the Great British Care Awards Scotland.

The team support people with learning disabilities and mental health conditions to live happy, fulfilling lives in their own homes. Judges at the Great British Care Awards hailed the team as having “defined ‘putting people first’”, supporting people with very complex needs to live in the community as independently as possible.”

Sara Murphy, Managing Director at Community Integrated Care, said:

“The team at Mallard Drive have shown an unwavering commitment to supporting people with complex support needs to live lives full of choice and enjoyment. From supporting someone who loves animals to volunteer at a farm, to encouraging people to be independent in their everyday lives and explore their communities – this team are having a real impact.”

Speaking of the team’s awards win, Becca Forman, Service Leader for Mallard Drive, said:

“I am so proud of the team – we couldn’t believe it when we were announced as winners, it was a really fantastic moment. We were up against some incredible teams from across the sector, so it felt special to be recognised.”

“My team go above and beyond every day, supporting people to live happy and aspirational lives. They’re an amazing, hard-working bunch of people and I am proud to be their manager.”

Would you like to join an award-winning team? Community Integrated Care employs 6,000 colleagues across England and Scotland. To find out more about the charity’s vacancies, and what it’s like to work for Community Integrated Care, visit or explore our Care and Support Jobs profile.