Carer honoured for 'going the extra mile'

Mark Potter Cromer

Mark Potter, of Cromer, who was given a Going the Extra Mile award. - Credit: Ian Burt Photography

A Cromer dad who became a carer after undergoing open heart surgery has won an award for 'going the extra mile'.

Mark Potter, 56, was given the Going the Extra Mile award by Norfolk's Extra Hands for his dedication to his job at the care firm's Horsham St Faith office.

Mr Potter, who has four children, said he felt delighted, but also guilty, about receiving the award.

He said: "I was pleased and like all of us, it’s lovely and very kind of people, but you do think of all your colleagues and feel guilty really, they all work just as hard."

Mr Potter started his role with Extra Hands three years ago, having previously worked with adults and children with learning and physical disabilities. 

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He had just gone through surgery at the Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, and said he wanted to find a nicer way of treating older people after a visit to his own grandmother in a care home. 

Mr Potter said: "It was a long time ago, but it wasn’t great and I thought I would like to do something which would help older people."

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He said he was looking forward to Extra Hands' service users being able to get the coronavirus vaccine in the near future. 

Mr Potter said: "The hardest thing for most of them has been missing their families. They are all really looking forward to having the vaccine and getting a bit more back to normal.

"Most of our service users have been pretty OK during the pandemic. It has had an effect on those who have dementia - mostly because their routines are disrupted and they don’t understand why."

The winner from the company’s Heacham office was Daniela Silva, 27, of Terrington St Clement, who has been on the team for almost three years.

Having arrived in England four years ago, she was determined to carve a caring career for herself after working as a waitress and in factories to begin with.

“This was the best company to come and work for. They pay while you’re training, which is excellent and they really take care of you,” she said.

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