Student Participation Program earns Helping Hand major excellence award

Helping Hand wins major excellence in aged care award

Helping Hand is thrilled to have won an Excellence in Aged Care Services award in the Organisation category for its student participation program, recognising the provider who has made an outstanding contribution to care and services development or provision of high-level support to the aged by demonstrating leadership, innovation and excellence in South Australia and the Northern Territory in 2020.

The Organisation Award recognises the work Helping Hand has undertaken over the past 15 years to pioneer an innovative approach to student participation, stretching across the organisation’s ecosystem and going beyond one-on-one placements to achieve qualifications and create employment in the sector.

Helping Hand Student Participation Manager Helen Loffler said the organisation engaged students from disciplines including vocational education, allied health, nursing, medicine, pharmacy, engineering, and business, working alongside clients and staff as learners and contributors. The program supports more than 500 students annually, ranging from Certificate III to PhD candidates.

“Through our program, students gain an enhanced understanding of older peoples’ needs and the aged care industry, learn new skills, and also contribute to enhancing care and developing services within the broader organisation,” Ms Loffler said.

“It has assisted us to recruit people committed to improving outcomes for older people, including care staff and many of our allied health workers.”

Helping Hand Chief Executive Chris Stewart said the program helped many students on their journey as they worked towards a fulfilling career in aged care, health and other related industries.

“Working with these students gives them an opportunity to gain first-hand understanding and experience in an industry they might not have considered initially, thanks to our dedicated staff,” Mr Stewart said. “With many of them going on to jobs at Helping Hand, we are able to employ a team of young workers who understand our ethos and share our dedication to improving the lives of ageing Australians.”

The LASA Excellence in Age Services Awards aim to promote and recognise excellence across the diverse and dynamic fields of endeavour in the industry, celebrating the passion and achievements of organisations, teams and individuals who serve of older Australians.

The awards also seek to increase public confidence and community involvement in aged care and services. The winners were announced during an online event on 7 August 2020.

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