Raquel Pena Aristizabal, Activities & Volunteers Manager with The Royal Star & Garter Homes in Surbiton, has triumphed in the Care Activities Coordinator category at the National Care Awards…

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, 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.”

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.