Carer-Friendly Business Award winners 2016

Carer-Friendly Business Award Winners with Robin Bailey and Jim Toohey, President of Carers Queensland Inc.

Carer-Friendly Business Award Winners with Robin Bailey

Our Carer-Friendly Business Awards, is now in its thirteenth year and is going from strength to strength.  This is an encouraging indication of how an increasing number of Queensland businesses are recognising the value and importance of supporting our state’s carers.  Carers Queensland is pleased to announce the winner of this year’s State Carer-Friendly Business Awards!

Great EmployeeBindi Wythes, CPL

The Great Employee Award is for employees of a company or service provider that goes the extra mile in helping carers.

Fred Law, who cares for his disabled granddaughter Lekeele who has cerebral palsy, nominated Bindi Wythes for her unwavering support and professionalism in assisting Fred to manage his granddaughter’s support package.

Fred says “Bindi has set up all the supports I need to help me to care for my granddaughter, including organising respite so I can get a break. She manages all the finances and paperwork, so I don’t have to worry, and has been my advocate with the Public Trustee. She calls me every week to see how things are going, and is a kind and friendly person who shows me respect by really listening to me.”

With a demanding caring role, Fred says that the impact of Bindi’s support is significant. “Bindi has helped me with things I couldn’t do, so now I have the support I need to care for my granddaughter. She always goes above and beyond to help me and genuinely cares about making our lives better. She has really helped me to get my life back on track.”

Great Employee winner Bindi Wythes CPL with carer nominator Fred Law

Great Employee winner Bindi Wythes CPL with carer nominator Fred Law

Great EmployerThe Miles Outback Motel

The Great Employer Award recognises a business that employs a carer, and it is the carer who usually nominates them. The business provides flexible working arrangements, supports alternative work arrangements and has established policies or practices in place to support staff to balance work and the caring role.

This year’s winning business demonstrates just how this is done, and the immense impact it can have on the quality of an employee’s life and that of his family. Miles carer Guy Hussey-Smith, who cares for his son who has Cerebral Palsy, nominated his employer Chris Erwin from the Miles Outback Motel for the support he has been shown, enabling him to balance work with his caring responsibilities.

Guy says: “Chris is extremely flexible when it comes to helping me to balance my work with my duties at home caring for my son. I get time off for medical appointments, and, when emergencies have inevitably arisen, he’s granted me advances on my wages to help us out in tough times. Not only that, he paid for me to do a TAFE qualification, finds me extra jobs where necessary, and was generous enough to support our local school to fundraise for a stair climber so that my son can access the music room at school.”

Great Employer Winner Miles Outback Hotel - Chris Erwin

Great Employer Winner Miles Outback Motel – Chris Erwin

Great ServiceCreative Blinds, Toowoomba

The Great Service Award recognises a mainstream business, not directly associated with the health and community care services sector, who understands the time constraints of carers and their mobility needs.

Toowoomba carer Jan Wright, who cares for her husband Keith, nominated Creative Blinds after they went above and beyond their usual service, offering the socially isolated couple a lifeline after recognising that Jan was suffering with depression following a move from Canberra to Toowoomba.

Jan says: “Being a carer with all that it entails, I was struggling to find any social outlets to make new friends. I became depressed in the lonely and confined space of my carer role. We were arranging trade quote for our new home when we met Kristy and Bek from Creative Blinds. It was clear that they could see I was struggling, because, the next day, Bek turned up on my doorstep armed with a list of social outlets she and Kristy had thought of for us. It was her day off, and she had an ill son to care for, but the fact that she found time for us – and to give me a warm hug – was way beyond the scope of her work duties.

“Kristy and Bek opened doors for me to join in activities and social groups. They have helped me out of depression and made me smile again. It is refreshing and reassuring to know that such amazing people are around us.”

Great Service Winners Creative Blinds Toowoomba Kristy & Bek

Great Service Winners Creative Blinds Toowoomba Kristy & Bek

Great Service ProviderGladstone State School Dental Clinic

Great Service Provider category acknowledges registered service providers and not-for-profit organisations that go ‘above and beyond’ in their services for carers.

Gladstone carer Leanne Pulsford, who cares for her severely disabled granddaughter Elizabeth, nominated Gladstone West State School Dental Clinic for their professionalism and patience in supporting Elizabeth to one day feel comfortable enough to undergo a dental examination.

Leanne says “Elizabeth has impaired vision and hearing, as well as intellectual impairments, so it’s incredibly difficult to communicate to her about what’s happening. For her to learn anything, it needs to be taught in baby steps. The staff at the clinic recognise that with time and patience, and regular visits, Elizabeth’s understanding about what is expected of her at the dentist will develop, and maybe one day, Elizabeth will understand enough to be able to sit through a dental examination.”

“As a carer, it is amazing that a public service takes this extra time to help accommodate Libby’s limited understanding of routines. When you’re caring for a child with severe disabilities, it’s often easier not to leave the house, so I really do appreciate everything they have done for us.”

Great Service Provider Winner - Gladstone State School Dental Clinic

Great Service Provider Winner – Gladstone State School Dental Clinic

The awards were presented at Carers Queensland’s National Carers Week gala launch. The launch was attended by over 200 carers and corporate representatives and hosted by Brisbane radio personality Robin Bailey.

Carers Queensland gratefully appreciates the funding support from the Queensland Government 
to assist with activities during National Carers Week 2016.