South Leeds support worker shortlisted for second care award

A Leeds social care worker has been shortlisted for a second prestigious accolade.

Debra Hanrahan, team leader at Kirklees Supported Housing in Batley and Waterhouse Court Supported Housing in Hunslet is on the shortlist for the Great British Care Award (GBCA) Dignity in Care award.

She was recognised by judges for her kind, mindful approach that places every individual at the heart of the support she provides.

Debra, who lives in Hunslet, has been shortlisted for the Yorkshire region, and if she takes home the trophy from the regional ceremony in November, she’ll go on to the national final in March 2023.

This is the second time Debra has been recognised for her dedication this year. In October, she was singled out amongst the 1,200 people employed by national charity Making Space for an award.

Debra was nominated for the Great British Care Award by Sajeed Daji, service manager of the supporting housing schemes. He said:

“Debra is a team leader for Kirklees Supported Housing, and also acts as live-in caretaker at Waterhouse Court in Hunslet.

“As well as supporting 12 adults with a very complex range of needs requiring individual, personalised care plans at Waterhouse Court, Debra oversees a team of support workers and residents at Kirklees.

“She’s taken this new management role into her stride and introduced a co-production ethos across the services that reflects her kind, mindful approach. Debra patiently and gently helps people to work through their problems and find the solutions to reach their own goals independently. Since becoming team leader, she’s extended this approach to her whole team, leading by example and inspiring everyone.”

Phil Orton is the chief people officer at Making Space, the national adult health and social care charity that employs Debra. He said:

“Debra lives and breathes the values that we strive for here at Making Space,” he says. “She makes herself available for tenants and team alike, and is proactive and innovative in the way she strives for successful outcomes for every individual she works with.

“She seeks out training and development for herself and others to be sure everyone is supported in the way that’s best for them, and has arranged for tenants to be involved in reporting and monitoring of the service – an initiative that drew praise from commissioners.

“We’re delighted that the Great British Care Awards has recognised Debra’s achievements, and we’re all wishing her the best of luck.”

Debra said:

“I am honoured to have been nominated for the GBCA.

“On a daily basis the effort I put into my work is with the full intention of enhancing service user wellbeing – and I will continue to do this throughout my career with Making Space.”

The Great British Care Awards are a series of regional events throughout the UK and are a celebration of excellence across the care sector. They pay tribute to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding excellence within their field of work, from frontline staff such as care workers and care managers to people who have made an impact in other ways such as training and innovation.


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


Whilst you’re here, can we ask a favour?

South Leeds Life is published by a not-for-profit social enterprise. We keep our costs as low as possible but we’ve been hit by increases in the print costs for our monthly newspaper – up 50% so far this year.

Could you help support local community news by making a one off donation, or even better taking out a supporters subscription?

Donate here, or sign up for a subscription at

Thank you for your support