Winning the title of Employer of the Year was the highlight for a business that has helped hundreds of people to live in their own homes in Rossendale for 30 years. Hazelwood Homecare, based in Rawtenstall, won the title at the 2014 Rossendale Business Awards and Director Sara Hughes said: “It was one of the most important awards we have won because it really shows how we value our staff. We have an annual celebration when we reward employees for their service. Many have completed 15 years, others 10 and some five. Providing care in the community is a business like no other. It is all staff driven because we are not selling a product and don’t have a showroom.”
The company employs 49 people including five administrative staff.
Sara’s mother, Patricia Mahgoub, founded Hazelwood. “At the time she was running a nursing home, and she realised that a lot of the people coming to visit those in the home who were really struggling to get things done in their own house,” said Sara. “She was making food at the home and delivering it to the people who had been visiting and she realised something was lacking.”
The business has always been a family concern and Sara’s aunt Jill Allen is Registered Manager. Patricia, who passed away in June, had a brain haemorrhage and six years ago Sara, and her brother Ramsey became directors to ensure their mother’s legacy continued to flourish.
The business model has changed because of cutbacks in social services budgets and now 40 per cent of clients are private, but the ethos remains. Sara said: “When we look for employees we don’t look for training, we look for people who see this job as a vocation. It is important that our employees care about the people they care for. We provide our own training to national standards and we have achieved a bronze accreditation from Investor In People.”
The Employer of the Year category is sponsored by Metis HR. Managing director Alison Driver said: “Hazelwood stood head and shoulders above the crowd in terms of their innovation as employers, engaging meaningfully with their employees and reaping the rewards of a loyal staff group with long service. Employers who engage effectively with their workforce will be the ones that win, attracting and keeping good staff. The winner of Rossendale’s Employer of the Year is publicly recognised for positive engagement and innovation to develop and retain talent, which can only help in that fight to attract quality staff.”
Any organisation, private, public or community sector, that has a site which employs people in Rossendale is eligible for the Employer of the Year. They do not have to have a head office here.