Awards for Extra Hands carers from Heacham and Norwich

Staff, service users and friends enjoy the awards Picture: Extra Hands

Staff, service users and friends enjoy the awards Picture: Extra Hands - Credit: Archant

A care company has celebrated staff with a special award.

Staff, service users and friends enjoy the awards Picture: Extra Hands

Staff, service users and friends enjoy the awards Picture: Extra Hands - Credit: Archant

Some 64 staff members from Heacham-based Extra Hands were nominated for the Gill Chase award.

Lorren Payne, 25, took the title after reaching the final shortlist of eight for the second year running.

One finalist from each of the company's two Norfolk offices in Heacham and Norwich were chosen before the winner was announced.

Lorren was described a 'caring and compassionate person' and 'an asset to the company' by service users and the recently-promoted team member was delighted to receive the award after working for Extra Hands for three years, based at its Heacham office.

Staff, service users and friends enjoy the awards Picture: Extra Hands

Staff, service users and friends enjoy the awards Picture: Extra Hands - Credit: Archant


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She studied health and social care at Fakenham College and had a spell in retail before embarking on her career with Extra Hands which saw her providing help and support for around 20 people a week within their own home. Having been promoted, Lorren is now a rapid response team member.

'I love my job and it's incredibly rewarding - I would recommend it as a career to any young person wondering what they could do,' she said.

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The second finalist was carer Mark Potter, 54, of Cromer, works from the Norwich office of Extra Hands, and has only been with the company a year. His cheerful nature and willingness to 'go the extra mile' saw him take the runner's up spot in this year's awards.

Each of the other six finalists was presented with a certificate by the company's founder David Evans. Extra Hands Norfolk celebrated its 25th anniversary this year and now employs more than 150 staff and offers care and support across the county.

Staff, service users and friends enjoy the awards Picture: Extra Hands

Staff, service users and friends enjoy the awards Picture: Extra Hands - Credit: Archant

The Gill Chase awards were started four years ago in memory of a long-standing committed carer who died suddenly in 2014 aged 68 and the company wanted to ensure she was always remembered.

Director Hazel Evans said staff always looked forward to the award and she praised the entire team for their dedication and care.

The Heacham office finalists were also Daniella Silva who 'always asks if there is more she can do'.

Oksana Trofimova is a 'calming influence and is never hurried'. Her nomination said she is 'excellent at sorting out any problems and is patient, understanding perfectly others' needs with a positive attitude and always goes the extra mile.'

Julie Woodberry always treats the service user with dignity and respect and adapts care as necessary. She is described as 'kind and understanding' and is always encouraging.

From the Norwich office - Jess Mills encourages independence where possible and is very respectful, always caring and always 'goes the extra mile in little ways'.

John Thompson always adapts and is caring and thoughtful along with being patient and efficient with a good sense of humour and he is 'always ready to lend a hand'.

Joanne Warrant plans ahead, is well-prepared and has a great knowledge of dementia. She has a 'warm personality' and 'does whatever she can to improve service users' quality of life' while promoting dignity and independence.

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