Hunslet charity worker wins award for dementia and mental health care

A Hunslet charity worker has received an award for the care she delivers to supported housing residents who are living with dementia and mental health conditions.

Debra Hanrahan is team leader at both Kirklees Supported Housing in Batley and Waterhouse Court Supported Housing in Hunslet, which provide care and support for people with learning disabilities, mental health issues and substance use issues, as well as older people with a diagnosis or suspected dementia.

She was given the Relationship Centred Care Award by Making Space, a national adult health and social care charity which employs over 1,200 people across the UK, in recognition of her “24/7 commitment to every person she supports.

Debra was presented with a certificate and trophy by Andy Grant – a motivational speaker, Iraq and Afghanistan veteran and the world’s fastest single leg amputee in the world over 10km – at an award ceremony at the Manchester Mercure Hotel.

Debra was nominated for the award by service manager Sajeed Daji, who said:

“Debra believes in every person she supports, even when they don’t believe in themselves.

“Working with such a complex mix of adults is not easy, but Debra is able to make sure that everyone’s voice is heard, everyone’s voice counts and everyone can achieve their goals. She is always calm, always positive and always mindful that every one of their lives is precious.”

Over 250 people were nominated for the Making Space awards, with three individuals or teams shortlisted in each of 12 categories. The judges – Making Space trustee Ted McGuinness and chief people officer Phil Orton – said Debra was clearly passionate about delivering personalised care.

Phil said:

“Debra patiently and gently helps people to work through their problems and find the solutions they need to reach their own goals independently.

“She extends this approach to her whole team as well as residents, leading by example and inspiring everyone.”

Debra said:

“I was extremely proud to have won this award as I didn’t expect it at all. I have always loved working for Making Space and embraced the opportunities it has brought me.

“The people we support are everything, and deserve the best, and that’s where I can thank my team of staff as we all work together to help the tenants experience the most from life.”

The inaugural Making Space Colleague Awards were established to recognise and pay tribute to individuals and teams who inspire others, go above and beyond expectations and make a real difference to the lives of the people supported by Making Space.


This post is based on a press release issued by Making Space

Photo l-r Awards presenter Andy Grant, award winner Debra Hanrahan and Making Space CEO Rachel Peacock