With our carers providing so many additional support services for care users during the pandemic, we set up the Going the Extra Mile (GEM) awards, to enable users to suggest staff members who they think deserve appreciation for the extra work that they have put in.
Every three months, winners are picked, from the dozens of nominations received, and one of the most consistently highly-rated and praised workers is Sue Symington.
“Sue is caring and thoughtful to all the needs of our mother, and goes above and beyond her normal caring responsibilities,” said one nomination.
“She is always prepared to deal with sorting out her prescriptions and picking up any shopping she needs, and is always there to have a chat,” it continued. “She always goes the extra mile for Mum and others she cares for. She really is one in a million.”
Such high praise coming from a care user’s family underlines just how much difference the work of our carers makes. They are not just looking after the welfare of the care users, but also providing peace of mind and reassurance for their families, with little gestures and acts making a big difference.
“She is always smiling and cheers us up when on duty,” said a service user. “There must be days when duty does not go according to plan but that never shows, and the attention and care she displays is often well beyond the remit of what her job requires.”
Even in normal times, caring is a job carrying a heavy responsibility, and in lockdown it has grown hugely, but Sue and many others like her have risen to the challenge to take their caring services to the next level.
“Sue is at all times a tower of strength to us, and since the start of Lockdown has gone above and beyond the call of duty in so many way,” said another nomination.
“Her care and empathy are beyond measure and she even sends a message to the next day’s carer to alert them to a particular issue or problem which will need attention.
“She does extra duties like shopping and errands for us in her off time, and we cannot praise her enough. She is a Gem at all times, but in the current environment has become even more precious.”
Nominations for the next awards can be sent to Extra Hands by email to: email@example.com or by post to: Extra Hands, Units 13/14 Heacham Hall Industrial Estate, Heacham PE31 7JT (01485 570611) or Unit A10 Abbey Farm Commercial Park, Southwell Road, Horsham St Faith, Norwich NR10 3JU (01603 898623)
Nominations can be made by a service user, a family member, staff or someone who notices the extra effort being made.