Award for carer inspired by Covid's impact
- Credit: Ian Burt
A 'lovely and cheerful' woman who went from working in a shoe shop to being a carer has risen to the challenge and been recognised for her work.
The 20-year-old, who previously worked in a shoe shop, was inspired to change career after seeing the problems the crisis brought about.
Despite her inauspicious start, the carer from west Lynn has gone on to become a "key member of the team and a trusted friend" to the people she visits from the company's Heacham office.
She said: “I still don’t know what happened that first day – I wasn’t unduly anxious, I’d had a good breakfast and I was prepared, but I passed out completely.
“An ambulance had to be called and they said I’d probably overheated.
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"It was a strange way to start – phoning the careline is supposed to be for the benefit of service users, not the carers, but I like to think I’ve made some progress since then.
"Growing up I was a carer for my mum, and I’d also seen how carers helped her, so when I saw what was happening with the pandemic, it seemed like the best time to get involved."
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Her boss Lynda Hilliard said her Rising Star award was "fully deserved."
She added: “She has made quite an impact on some of her regulars, who have said she is always lovely and cheerful."
Trevor Wicks, from Hethersett, also won the company's Rising Star award.
Mr Wicks, from the Extra Hands' Horsham St Faith office, previously ran the Hollywood Cinema chain for 30 years and made the move into the care sector at the start of the pandemic.
He said: “When I put on Facebook what I was doing, people were amazed at such a total about-turn, so I’m well chuffed with the award, it came out of nowhere.
“I look forward to going to people’s houses and doing some good for them – how many jobs can you say that about?"
His manager Hayley Claxton said he was a deserved winner and has formed great relationships with his service users and their families.