Sisters Lauren & Chloe Kelly of Connected Health, Derry named as Carers of the Year at inaugural HCCI Home Care Awards supported by First Ireland Insurance Brokers

Carer of the Year award sponsored by HaloCare

Dublin, 22 October, 2021 Sisters Lauren (age 25) and Chloe Kelly (age 23) home carers from Limavady, Co. Derry has been named as Carers of the Year at the inaugural Home and Community Care Ireland (HCCI) Home Care awards, supported by First Ireland Insurance Brokers. Lauren and Chloe who work with Connected Health in Derry were announced as the joint winners at an awards event in the Shelbourne hotel, Dublin yesterday.

A panel of independent judges – TV presenter & designer, Brendan Courtney; Professor Thomas Kearns, Executive Director, Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery, RCSI; Katie Sloan, CEO Leading Age, USA and Sandra Tuohy, Assistant National Director, Operations and Services for Older People HSE – chose Lauren & Chloe as the winners.

During the ceremony, Brendan Courtney said, “This event really gives validation to the incredible work home carers do. HCCI Home care awards brings a spotlight to these absolute heroes. The winners, Lauren & Chloe, are incredible – they really stood out for me as there was such a beautiful unity – they both moved into a covid positive client’s home, to not only care for that person but also to look after each other and to make sure they didn’t infect their colleagues with covid. To me that was such a selfless thing.”

Lauren said, “We’d like to thank everyone at Connected Health. It’s been a tough time through covid but we got through it, as carers do, and we all pulled together. Its great to get recognised for the work that we did.”

Niall Kelly, CTO and Co-founder HaloCare said, “We are delighted to sponsor the HCCI Carer of the Year award. Home Carers have done incredible work, particularly since the outbreak of the pandemic, enabling the most vulnerable to stay in the safety of home. Their selflessness and dedication is truly admirable. Congratulations to Lauren and Chloe who are outstanding carers. We, at HaloCare, are very proud to be able to recognise such worthy recipients of the Carer of the Year award.” 

Keith Gill, Director of Health Care Insurance, First Ireland said, “We are delighted to support the inaugural HCCI Home Care awards. HCCI members and their teams of carers, coordinators, managers and nurses have been on the frontline during the pandemic and have given so much to their clients and communities. They wholeheartedly deserve this recognition. Congratulations to all nominees and award winners and thank you for all you have done. We wish HCCI members and their teams all the best in the coming months.”

Joseph Musgrave, CEO, HCCI which is the representative body for home care providers and advocates for home care services to be made available to all on a statutory basis, said, “Heartfelt congratulations to Lauren & Chloe Kelly on winning Carers of the Year. We are very lucky to have people like them working in homecare. Their care and selflessness make a real difference to their care clients and colleagues and they should be very proud of their achievement.”

“2021 is a fitting year for HCCI to launch the inaugural Home Care Awards, a time when homecare providers and carers should be recognised and commended for their inspiring response to Covid-19. Homecare has been a vital resource for our most vulnerable in society, particularly since the onset of the pandemic.  Our members and their teams have demonstrated outstanding commitment, care excellence and exceptional service to their clients. The HCCI Home Care awards celebrate and highlight this wonderful and vital work that enables the most vulnerable to stay in the safety and comfort of home.  This safety and resilience is demonstrated by the fact that covid infections never rose above 1% among our members’ 20,000 clients.”

“I would like to sincerely thank our event sponsor First Ireland whose support made this ceremony possible, as well as HaloCare, OneTouch and RCSI Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery for their sponsorship of individual awards. We are also very grateful to our independent judges – Sandra Tuohy, Katie Sloan, Brendan Courtney and Professor Thomas Kearns for their time and expertise. And thank you to all our members who nominated team members for these inaugural awards.”

Other award winners announced at the event were Geraldine Tabb, Right at Home, Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow, Nurse of the Year (award sponsor RCSI Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery); Emma Dennis of Bluebird Care Dublin South-East & Wicklow, Care Coordinator of the Year and Christina Mooney, InisCare Dublin, Care Manager of the Year. HCCI also recognised its late member Geraldine Casserly of Westcare Homecare who tragically died from Covid earlier this year with the Lifetime Achievement award (sponsored by First Ireland Insurance Brokers). Joseph Musgrave said that Geraldine made a commitment to care through becoming a nurse and then through her commitment to homecare as well as to her local community through her business Westcare homecare. “There is no one more worthy of this inaugural Lifetime Achievement award,” he concluded.

Her husband Seamus accepted the award along with his adult children Conor and Samantha saying that Geraldine was “a beacon of care, a shining light. She had the natural ability to treat all clients with compassion, respect and dignity and offered comfort and solace to all her clients and their families during their darkest times. Geraldine was dedicated to giving the highest standard of care and was truly at her happiest when helping others.”