A community care firm employee from Halifax says he is humbled after being nominated for a national accolade in the inaugural Towergate Care Awards.
Justin Appleyard, person centred planning co-ordinator, has worked for CSS Commmunity Support Services (CSS) for seven years and is one of three people short-listed in the Home Carer of the Year category.
He said: “I actually feel really humble and undeserving of being singled out for this award due to honestly believing I am a small cog in a well oiled machine.
“I train the staff to understand what it means to be person centred, how to apply it to their job role and hopefully how to get the goals, dreams and aspirations from the people we support.
“It is a team effort. But most of the time, I am a happy support worker helping people get the best out of their lives, in a way that they choose.
“Although I am 52 on the outside, I am 11 on the inside, and am full of weird ideas. Luckily for me, I work with people who understand me, who guide me when I need guiding, and support me when they agree with me.”
Justin would prefer the credit to go to the company he works for, which is based on Skircoat Moor Road and provides a range of services including day services, supported living, home help, and a preparation to employment programme.
He added: “Awards are great, but CSS were doing amazing things before I arrived, through hard work, dedication and determination.
“I feel blessed to be a part of the organisation. I can’t think of any other care company that offers so much
“I’m grateful to be seen by others as being part of an incredible team. I am also panicking over going to London as I am a scruff and enjoy being comfortably dressed and don’t want to let Dawn or my fellow workers down.
“I am also extremely grateful to the people we support for letting us into their lives.”
He will be one of 24 finalists at the awards ceremony in London on March 10.
Dawn Hartley, who co-owns the company, said: “I have managed CSS for 20 years now and over the years have employed some fantastic support workers.
“Currently we are proud to employ over 150 local people supporting people with additional support needs across Calderdale.
“We do have a fabulous team of staff who support people to achieve things they sometimes could only ever have dreamed of.
“After looking at the nomination categories from Towergate, Justin sprang to mind immediately.
“Although Justin has had lots of personal issues to deal with he has continued to give 100 per cent to CSS and our service users.
“He constantly comes up with imaginative ideas for how people can reach their potential, his presence enthuses people to do the best they can.
“Justin regularly spends his time outside work working on new ideas, arranging interesting places for people to visit and generally doing what he can to improve peoples opportunities.
“He is driven by his desire to support people in a person centred way.
“When I heard that Justin had been shortlisted in the top three throughout the country I was absolutely delighted.
“I am really looking forward to going to the ceremony in London next Thursday where hopefully we will see Justin receive the recognition he deserves.”