‘Positive and proactive’ - Student described as ‘local hero’ for care home work
PUBLISHED: 06:30 30 October 2020 | UPDATED: 07:47 30 October 2020
For Lauren Reid Edwards, the last few months have been all about getting to know a very special part of the community in Cringleford.
The 21-year-old, from Norwich, was recently crowned a Care UK Hero for her dedication, hard work and kind nature during her time volunteering at a care home.
Residents and colleagues at Cavell Court, on Dragonfly Lane, sung the praises of all team members but it was Ms Reid Edwards who captured the hearts of everyone, describing her as a local hero.
She said: “The past few months have been challenging for everyone, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the older members of the Cringleford community.”
No stranger to volunteering, she has previously travelled to Banfora, a city in south western Burkina Faso in western Africa, and carried out charity work with The Garibou Boys for Oasis-Project Samaria.
Currently studying French and International Relations at Reading University, she moved back to her family home in Norwich during the start of lockdown.
She added: “When I returned home to Norwich, I was keen to help local people in any way that I could.
“I’m so thrilled to have been chosen as a Care UK Hero.”
Reaching out to the team at Cavell Court, she completed a variety of training courses before becoming a volunteer at the home earlier this year.
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She worked as a volunteer member of the lifestyle team helping to support her colleagues in organising daily activities for residents.
Forming strong relationships with everyone at the home, she became popular with residents thanks to her caring, innovative and kind nature, which has helped newer members of the Cavell Court family to settle into the home quickly.
She also supported the team in organising group sing-a-long sessions and, by speaking to each individual, compiled a booklet of song sheets based on residents’ favourite songs to host a weekly singing activity to encourage reminiscence and keep everyone’s spirits high.
Nicola Martin, lead for the team, has been using her creative background to benefit older people at the care home since 2019 and explained the many elements Miss Reid Edwards needed to have to work in the role.
“You need to wear many different creative hats as a Lifestyle lead,” she said. “It’s very important to be compassionate, patient and an amazing listener. You also need a sense of humour, as well as creativity and organisational skills in abundance.”
Karen Curle, home manager at Cavell Court, added: “Lauren has become a huge asset to the lifestyle team and we are delighted that she has been named as a Care UK Hero.
“From taking the time to get to know residents, to supporting the lifestyle team to organise daily activities, Lauren’s dedication is second to none. Her positive, proactive and friendly nature has raised everyone’s spirits and really helped us to get through the past few months.
“From our nurses and lifestyle coordinators, to our housekeepers and chefs, everyone has done a tremendous job, and I cannot thank Lauren and the rest of the team enough for making Cavell Court a wonderful place to live.”
Ms Reid Edwards was named as a Care UK Hero for “going above and beyond for colleagues, residents and the local community in recent months”.
From outstanding colleagues to residents who have ensured morale remains high, the competition aims to shine a light on the exceptional people working in care and helping others. The nomination was shared as part of a nationwide search for Care UK Heroes throughout its 122 care homes.
Cavell Court is a full-time residential care home providing nursing and dementia care, as well as short-term respite care. Care UK is a provider of residential care for older people and has a team of more than 10,000 colleagues, operating in 120 care homes.
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