A care worker from Okehampton has won ‘Carer of the Year’ in The Guinness Partnership’s Star Awards. Care worker Sarah Packer from Castle Ham Lodge, an extra care housing scheme in Okehampton, beat stiff competition to win the national award at a ceremony in Manchester.
The Carer of the Year award is Guinness’s award for an individual carer who has shown outstanding care, going above and beyond to help customers retain dignity, independence and a good quality of life – putting their wellbeing at the heart of everything they do.
Sarah demonstrates outstanding care throughout the year, but especially at Christmas. Every year she arranges a Christmas stocking delivery for all the customers at Castle Ham Lodge. During the lead-up to the festive period, she collects donations from staff, sews stockings at home and purchases small gifts to fill the stockings.
Sarah visits every single customer on Christmas Eve, in her own time, to deliver the stockings, taking the time to sit and chat with them. She is the only visitor that some customers will have over Christmas, besides their carers.
On receiving the award, Sarah said: “I love my job and am absolutely thrilled to have received this award. Engaging with customers can make such a difference to their lives. Encouraging customers to get involved in activities often brings them out of feeling lonely, allowing care staff to support them where they fear losing independence.
“This award is not just for me, but for my fantastic team and my lovely customers who were so supportive when finding out that I had been shortlisted. One even discovered the venue for the award ceremony and got a banner made with “Go Sarah!” on it! It’s people like that that make my job such fun and make it feel so worthwhile!”
Paul Watson, Managing Director of Guinness Care said: “Sarah is an amazing human being. She is kind, caring and compassionate and displays an enormous amount of dedication to her customers – always treating them with respect. She has the most engaging can-do attitude and is always looking to make the workplace enjoyable for her colleagues and customers. She makes our customers feel valued and that has a hugely positive impact on the community at Castle Ham Lodge.”