Our carers have found themselves to be extra busy over the last few months, with the demands of the coronavirus pandemic transforming the way they work.
But the circumstances have seen them rise to the challenge in spectacular fashion, with many carers voluntarily taking on extra duties to make the lives of care users better in any way they can.
This is exactly what we had in mind when i set up the GEM awards, which stands for Going the Extra Mile, and every three months, care users and their families have a chance to nominate their choice for outstanding service, above and beyond the call of duty.
The fact that so many service users respond, and with such a huge variety of names, is testament to just well they are looked after, and the carers’ dedication and professionalism.
September’s nominations saw a wide range of nominees, and the heartfelt nature of much of the testimony shows just how important our carers in the lives of our service users.
Linda Hall was praised for her effort, going back in her own time after her shift had finished to sit with a bed-bound user, and also chasing up some issues around their house with social services.
Dana Wright was singled out for praise by one user who called her “a ran of sunshine, such a treasure” who was always happy and smiling. “I was one of her first calls when she started and I have watched her grow from a nervous young beginner to a really confident and efficient young woman on whom you can confidently rely, and who has obviously benefitted from all the training you have given her.
“Nothing is too much trouble for Dana … she always goes that extra mile to encourage independence however long it takes, promoting dignity at all times. She is a wonderful example of all that Extra Hands stands for as far as the client is concerned.”
Many of the nominations spoke of the carers’ positive enthusiasm for doing things beyond the remit of their job. Leanne Jolly and Deborah Edwards were both praised for this, and Deborah was also commended for her willingness to take out things a user’s cat had brought into the house unrequested!
Lorraine Childerley was also picked out for her willingness to do extra tasks, while Sue Symington was called “a tower of strength” for her constant positivity and good humour, and dedication to her job – and beyond. “Her care and empathy are beyond measure,” the nomination continued.”
Chantelle Grimes was picked out for providing “complete peace of mind… I cannot thank her highly enough,” and Lisa Overton was particularly praised for her cooking as well as her professionalism – “you could do with many more Lisas on your staff”.
Perhaps the highest praise of all was reserved for Julie Jones, about whom a service user said “she has become the surrogate daughter in place of the daughter we never had.”
Other Extra Hands carers nominated included Kate Davis, Mark Potter, Sharon Newman, Stella Cason, Khloe Evans, Nicki Schofield, Shonaya Taylor, Margaret Alcock, Sally, Paige, Jackie, Rachel, Kendra, Tracey, Rowena, Tina and Vega, as well as office-based staff from Extra Hands’ admin team, for their vital work in helping the carers do the job to the best of their ability.
Many are nominated, but only the few can be chosen, but the fact that so many people’s names are put forward for these awards shows just how dedicated all our staff are to the job and the people they care for.
Nominations for the next awards can be sent to Extra Hands by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.