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Awards Surbiton

Activities Manager wins prestigious accolade at National Care Awards

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A delighted Raquel with her trophy

Veterans’ charity The Royal Star & Garter Homes is celebrating after a “much loved” staff member was recognised for her work at the prestigious National Care Awards.


Raquel Pena Aristizabal, Activities & Volunteers Manager at the Charity’s Surbiton Home, triumphed in the Care Activities Coordinator / Facilitator category at the awards ceremony in London on 30 November.


The Care Activities Coordinator / Facilitator category recognises people who make an exceptional contribution to the quality of life, health and happiness of all people they support through the activities they provide.

Raquel picks up her award from Jon Culshaw and Sam Cheekoory, Chief Operating Officer at Gold Care Homes, which sponsored the category

Raquel, who joined the Charity in 2013, said: “It was wonderful spending the evening surrounded by so many inspirational people. I’m so happy we won, but I would not be standing here with this award if it weren’t for the amazing staff and volunteers I work with. This reflects what we all do at The Royal Star & Garter Homes, and illustrates our hard work, passion and drive to deliver the best person-centred care possible.”


The Surbiton Home offers over 50 events and activities to its residents each week. Raquel, from East Molesey, organises visits from local military organisations and schools, crafts, films, musical events, group exercises and therapies, quizzes, cookery classes and tastings, and seasonal celebrations. The Spanish-speaker has even started teaching Spanish lessons to veterans at the Home.


Pauline Shaw, the Charity’s Director of Care, was delighted to see Raquel’s efforts recognised. She said: “It is a joy to watch Raquel at work. Her passion, enthusiasm and energy are boundless and contagious. It brings out the best in the people she works with, and she is much loved by residents. We are lucky to have her, and I think this award is well deserved.”

Surbiton volunteer Diane Greenman, Assistant / Driver Phillip Marvell, Raquel, and the Charity's Director of Care Pauline Shaw

Also present at the ceremony was Charity volunteer Diane Greenman, who was invited as a representative of all the volunteers who give up their time to help the Charity. She praised Raquel’s work: “There’s such warmth and friendship in the Home and I think a lot of it is instilled by Raquel, and the amount of hard work she puts in making it feel bright, happy and joyful.”


The National Care Awards is an annual event organised by Caring Times magazine, a management magazine for the social care sector. It celebrates the best talent in the long-term care sector, highlighting excellence and rewarding those who work tirelessly to provide outstanding care.


Raquel’s award is the latest accolade The Royal Star & Garter Homes has received at the National Care Awards. In 2015 the Solihull Home won awards for Best Dementia Team and Best Resident / Relative Contribution. And the following year, the Home in Surbiton won Best Interior Dementia Design.


The awards evening took place at the Hilton London Metropole, Edgware Road, in Paddington.

Raquel, Phillip and Diane
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