Care South receives Care Ambassadors recognition

16th May 2010

Left to Right: Geoff Holt, the National Disability Sports Ambassador and Carolyn Collins, Director of Domiciliary Care and Business Development

Carolyn Collins, Director of Domiciliary Care and Business Development was presented with a certificate recognising Care South’s continued support and contribution to the Partners in Care Care Ambassadors Scheme, at an event in Poundbury on the 29th of April.

Partners in Care, established in 2000, is a multi-stakeholder, employer-led group that aims to raise the standard and quality of adult social care across Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset. Its activities focus on workforce development, achieved by linking with voluntary, independent and statutory care organisations throughout Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset. It manages the Care Ambassadors Scheme, deploying enthusiastic and motivated people of all ages, backgrounds and job roles from within the social care sector to ‘act as role models to inspire and encourage others to consider careers in the sector’.

Geoff Holt, the National Disability Sports Ambassador and quadriplegic yachtsman, presented the certificates and addressed the almost 100-strong audience drawn from Partners in Care’s Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole Care Ambassador team, the individual Ambassadors’ employers, as well as the scheme’s stakeholder representatives from local schools and colleges, local authorities, Connexions, and JobCentre Plus.

Inspiration was certainly the theme of the event as Geoff spoke about his yachting career. With several solo voyages and three trans-Atlantic crossings under his belt, in 1984 his yachting career was cut short by a diving accident which injured his spinal cord, leaving him paralysed from the chest down. But as a founding Trustee of RYA Sailability, the national disabled sailing charity, Geoff remained passionate about the sport. He decided that disability was no barrier to achievement when in 2007 he embarked on an expedition he called ‘Personal Everest’ and became the first disabled sailor to sail single-handed around Great Britain, and again in 2009 when he set sail around the Atlantic to reprise the achievements of his earlier yachting career, but this time with the added challenge of being a quadriplegic wheelchair user.

Katie Bennett, the Care Ambassador Co-Ordinator, said: “Geoff was fantastic – such an inspirational story. I even volunteered to be his crew on his next trip, when he wants to go round the world!”

A film to showcase ‘Me and Him and Me and Her’, an innovative drama project between partners Care Ambassadors, Dorset Scope, service users and their support workers, was screened at the event. Focusing on recruitment, it challenges the myths and preconceptions held about social care.

For more information, visit Partners in Care at or contact them on 01202 639026