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Eastenders star celebrates local care workers at glitzy awards event

EastEnders Star Shaun Williamson singing at Cornerstone long service awards

Actor Shaun Williamson, famous for playing Barry in Eastenders, was the host of a glittering awards evening to celebrate staff at local care provider Cornerstone Healthcare Group.

Shaun helped to celebrate the long service of more than 30 Cornerstone employees at the newly refurbished Langstone Quays last week.

All of the staff ‘VIPs’ have worked for Cornerstone Healthcare for more than 10 years, with four of them celebrating more than 20 years loyalty and dedication to their residents and the company.

Cornerstone Healthcare employs 381 staff at two specialist nursing homes; South Africa Lodge in Waterlooville and Kitnocks House in Curdridge. The service cares for people with challenging behaviours associated with complex neurological, physical and mental health needs.

Shaun said; “This has been the most amazing evening! It was an honour to meet such a committed and energetic group of people. They are doing such important work in an sector that has a tendency to be under appreciated and it’s great to see them being recognised.”

Cornerstone’s CEO, Johann van Zyl, joined Shaun in applauding the staff for their commitment.

“We value our team and we hope this award ceremony shows them how much,” he said. “Continuity of care is so important for people with dementia or mental health needs and we work hard to make this a supportive environment for our employees.

“The staff turnover rate in the UK generally is 18%, and for the care sector that goes up to 33% – ours is just 8% so we’re doing something right!”

As well as ongoing training and development, which sees staff members’ ideas and initiatives at its heart, Cornerstone also offers a psychological counselling service to help staff deal with the stresses of supporting people with complex needs.

More than ten per cent of Cornerstone’s staff have over ten years’ service. Janice Parker has worked at Kitnocks House for 23 years as a carer and was among those recognised at the event.

“I love my job but to have this recognition is so special,” Janice said. “It’s been a fantastic evening and it’s given us all a little boost to know that what we do each day for our residents doesn’t go unnoticed.”