Suffolk Business Awards 2020: Employer of the Year winner

Stow Healthcare is the winner of the Employer of the Year award Picture: Stow Healthcare

Stow Healthcare is the winner of the Employer of the Year award Picture: Stow Healthcare - Credit: Archant

Care provider Stow Healthcare has been announced as the winner of the Employer of the Year award, sponsored by Pure and Birketts, at the Suffolk Business Awards 2020.

Stow Healthcare showed a relentless dedication to continuing to provide the highest quality of care, as well as a safe, supportive environment for staff and residents during the most difficult of times.

Brother and sister team Roger Catchpole and Ruth French, in collaboration with their leadership team, took early decisions at the beginning of March in their ‘Stowbra war cabinet’ meetings, which were then clearly communicated to employees.

Despite having to navigate through these incredibly difficult circumstances, in Stow Healthcare’s June 2020 employee survey, 98% of staff said they were “proud to be keyworkers in social care at this time”.

Having taken the early decision to cease using agency staff during the pandemic to minimise the spread of infection, Stow Healthcare launched a recruitment campaign called ‘From Air to Care’ which was aimed at furloughed airline staff (and then other sectors) to retrain as care workers,

The executive leadership team remained in daily contact with staff as well as sending personilaised gifts and weekly letters of thanks, video blogs were produced to ensure staff remained connected and supported by the leadership team and a new ‘Raise Your Hand’ mental wellbeing pocket support guide was produced to ensure mental health was prioritised as much as physical health.

Stow Healthcare’s ethos, culture and values, reward structure and approach to caring for staff, residents and families during this crisis is to be applauded.

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“We are beyond delighted to have been recognised by the judges in the prestigious category of Employer of the Year,” said Roger Catchpole, MD. “Our staff are central to the success of Stow Healthcare and the outstanding care provision we have become known for. This award is for them, and is a wonderful accolade at the end of a year in which they have exceeded themselves.”


Pure is a professional recruitment company which specialises in executive, accountancy, human resources, technology, marketing and digital, and professional office roles. Pure recruits across all levels, from short-term temporary cover to longer-term contracts and permanent recruitment. It works with clients to recruit the right people and to support them at every stage of their career.

Birketts is a full service, top 100 UK law firm, with offices in Cambridge, Chelmsford, Ipswich and Norwich. With a rich heritage spanning over 150 years, Birketts has built an enviable track record advising businesses, institutions and individuals in the UK and internationally.



The directors ensure that the physical and mental wellbeing of their staff is of paramount importance. It was evident to the judges that they cared deeply about their small workforce, personally making sure the individual needs of each employee are considered with an impressive welfare and support programme.


During the Covid-19 crisis, Seven Resourcing staff were classed as key workers as a result of their involvement in nursing, social care and criminal justice. Safety of its staff was paramount, and Seven went the distance in demonstrating this. It also retrained and redeployed staff to minimise furlough, keeping them motivated and engaged.


Facilities management business Vertas Group employs 4,000 people throughout the UK in services including cleaning, catering, security and property management. Covid-19 has significantly impacted the business, but it has remained agile and resilient, true to its values and committed to the health and safety, mental and financial wellbeing of its staff.