Toxteth’s ‘Tony Elvis’ shortlisted for national awards

A TOXTETH social care worker, who moonlights as an Elvis tribute act, has been shortlisted for two national awards.

Tony Beard, 52, team leader at Devonshire Road Supported Housing, is in the running for both a National Care Award and a Great British Care Award.

The awards recognise the contribution Tony has made during the pandemic, donning his full Elvis gear and singing live – over the internet – to raise morale among tenants and staff.

In June this year, Tony also made the annual Happy List, published by the Independent newspaper as an antidote to the Sunday Times Rich List. It celebrates people for their contribution to society rather than their material wealth.

Tony joined Devonshire Road supported housing in Toxteth in April 2019 and became team leader last October. The service supports 13 adults living with mental health conditions to live independently. Before turning his hand to social care, Tony was in hospitality, working as a senior service manager at Liverpool’s Radisson Blu Hotel.

As ‘Tony Elvis’ he has performed in pubs, care homes, social clubs and competitions around the country since 2012, finally becoming a professional tribute act three years ago.

Tony, whose favourite Elvis song is If I Can Dream, said: “I’m pretty overwhelmed to be nominated and to have made the shortlists for two awards is just amazing. I try to make people happy and make a difference every day.”

Kim Smith, Tony‘s line manager at adult health & social care charity Making Space, which operates Devonshire Road supported housing, said: “When Tony isn’t shaking things up, he has been encouraging residents to use the outside space for activities.

“He has the compassion and dedication to pull everyone together to get through these challenging times. Tony‘s shortlistings for these two awards are well deserved.”

Tony will find out early next year whether he has won.