Phil picks up the Compassion Award

A gardener working in a London care home is celebrating after winning a prestigious national award.

Phil White, a Gardener at Hammerson House Care Home, run by Nightingale Hammerson, was named winner of the Compassion Award category, at this year’s Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards, for helping to bring together the local community through a love of the outdoors.

Now in its 10th year, the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards are organised by Care Management Matters (CMM), and developed in conjunction with the National Care Forum, a membership organisation for not-for-profit organisations in the care and support sector.

The awards recognise individuals and organisations that bring about significant impact in their communities within the not-for-profit sector – celebrating hard work, dedication, innovation and excellence. Entries to the 2025 awards will be opening later this year and local people working for a not-for-profit organisation can register their interest to find out more now.


The accolade was given to Phil for the compassion he shows residents at Nightingale Hammerson in everything that he does. As well as his gardening responsibilities, Phil goes above and beyond and regularly hosts teaching classes for residents and children to learn about the natural world, which has included introducing a beekeeping project where the two generations are creating jars of honey together and taking part in arts and crafts workshops.

Judges applauded the relationships Phil has nurtured during his time at Nightingale Hammerson and the dedication he shows to each resident. Judges praised how Phil has recently been taking a blind resident, Collette, around the home’s garden and describing the garden’s plants to her in detail and through other senses, including touch and smell. Judges also highlighted how Phil has introduced a wildflower meadow and orchard in the home’s grounds to enrich everyone’s time at Nightingale Hammerson.

Commenting on their success, Phil said: “I’m incredibly proud to win the Compassion Award and to have had the opportunity to be among so many inspiring individuals and groups who make up the not-for-profit care sector.

“Everybody at Nightingale Hammerson works incredibly hard to create memorable experiences for the residents, and while we have seen the benefits of doing this first-hand, it is wonderful to receive this recognition. I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone for making Nightingale Hammerson a fantastic place to work and call home.”

Held at The Grand Hotel in Birmingham, the award ceremony was hosted by actress and television presenter, Sally Lindsay, and brought together esteemed leaders in health and social care from across the UK to applaud and learn about the diverse work of the winners and finalists.

Neil Galjaard, Divisional Managing Director at Markel, said: “Every year, we are inspired by the incredible stories of how people and organisations across the UK make a real difference in people’s lives – and Phil is a shining example of doing just that.

“It’s been a challenging time for anyone working in the not-for-profit sector, which is why these awards are so important in raising awareness and providing recognition of the tireless efforts and outstanding service of those who make up the care sector. It’s so important to share their stories and the difference they make each and every day to the lives of others, and the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards gives us the opportunity to do just that.

“Now in its tenth year, we are incredibly proud to be associated with CMM and the awards. Proud to be different, the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards are free to enter, tickets to the ceremony are gifted and judges on the panel have lived experience – by removing barriers to enter, we ensure we really are celebrating the very best of those in the third sector.

“Congratulations Phil and to all of the winners and finalists for their exceptional work, and thank you for the lasting impact you have on those you care for – it is truly inspiring.”

Entries to next year’s awards will be opening later this year and are open to anyone working in the not-for-profit sector. Anyone can enter themselves or nominate someone else in one of the categories – no matter what their position in an organisation. Find out more about why you should enter and the benefits of winning the awards on the Why Enter? page.

Markel is widely recognised as a key supporter to the care sector through the provision of specialist insurance, legal, tax and consultancy capabilities. One such capability the company provides to the sector is their specialist care consultancy, Markel Care Practitioners, who are there to help across a range of issues such as risk management, inspection preparation and continuity planning.