Blackpool’s health care heroes have been celebrated at a special awards ceremony.
The annual awards ceremony, which ran for a third successive year, aims to celebrate the good work that is done by carers all over the town, and is arranged by Blackpool Council along with the Blackpool Care at Home Providers Forum.
Yvonne Farnsworth was awarded the coveted Carer of the Year 2016 award at the Winter Gardens, while five other carers went away with gongs for their good work in the care sector.
Yvonne, who works for home care provider Carewatch, was nominated by one of the families that she helps look after, who praised her punctuality, patience and dedication to the job.
Yvonne, who travels between her appointments on a tricycle, was also praised for always arriving promptly and on time, whatever the weather, and never letting her families feel rushed.
Families cared for by Yvonne also highlighted her hard work, caring attitude and going beyond the call of duty to ensure people are looked after and happy.
In addition to Yvonne’s award, trophies were also handed out to: Sophie Rea from Carewatch as the Most Improved Carer, Eric Woodcock from iCare who won the Long Service Award, Emma Hay from Safehands who was awarded Best Office Worker and Tom Boyle from Homecare For You winning Best Newcomer. Julie Hatch and Winne Mason from iCare also won the Best Double-Up Team award.
The awards were handed out by Honorary Alderman of Blackpool Sylvia Taylor, along with Mayoress Joan Goldin.
On average, carers across Blackpool provide 12,000 hours of support across Blackpool every week, allowing people to continue to live in their own homes rather than needing to enter a care home or admitting into hospital.
Around 600 carers work in Blackpool from a variety of different care providers, helping local residents to cope with a long term illness, or provide help so that they can recover from a stay in hospital.
To celebrate the exceptional work that the carers do, the awards ceremony invites residents from across the town to nominate the staff that they think do a sterling job.
This year, 208 people have entered submissions for carers that they think should take away the coveted title of carer of the year.
Each of the nominations includes a heart-warming story about how carers have improved families lives, from keeping people washed and clean to helping with vital medication and providing support and a visitor to talk to when times are tough.
Coun Amy Cross, Blackpool Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Safeguarding, said: “Being a carer is one of the most rewarding jobs around.
“Carers don’t do their job for the money or the praise but because it makes a huge difference to the families that they help.
“Around 1,000 Blackpool families receive care in their own home and carers make such a difference to all of them, helping to keep their loved ones in their own home rather than them needing a residential home or a hospital stay.
“Quite often, the exceptionally good work that carers do every day can go overlooked.
“These awards are a chance for the community to show our carers just how much they are appreciated and is a celebration not just of the winners, but of the caring profession as a whole.”
Sandy Bell, chairman of Blackpool Care at Home Providers Forum, added: “Home care providers work extremely hard to ensure the quality of staff we employ is high.
“It is wonderful that the Forum and Council work together.”