A CARE home manager inspired by her legendary footballing grandfather is helping to spearhead a recruitment drive for vital care workers.

Sharon Moss’s close bond with George Hardwick, the Middlesbrough and England football legend who struggled with Alzheimers in later life, led her into a caring career. The manager of Benkhill Lodge care home in Bedale, is now supporting North Yorkshire county council’s drive to recruit desperately needed care workers through their Make Care Matter Recruitment hub.

As a child Sharon says she was in awe of her grandfather and their bond was strong, despite his 'giant-like' sporting physique he was known as Gentleman George because he was so quietly spoken. After leaving home to work at a horse-racing stables Sharon returned to find her grandfather a shadow of his former self.

"In walked a man who was not a giant but a shrunken version of my grandfather. I was so shocked. He was a shell of the man I remembered. It turned out to be Alzheimer’s. I had never heard of Alzheimer’s before," she says.

But Sharon made sure she found out, training and working with adult social care in North Yorkshire county council. Although Alzheimer’s eventually claimed Sharon’s granddad, she says it did not take his dignity and she remembers attending a social function with him alongside many top names including David Beckham. At his funeral the streets were lined with people paying their respects.

She says people are needed to work in social care more than ever and hopes people will consider it. "When you are at school you don’t think you want to be a manager in a care home. It is often circumstances or events that mean you end up working in care. I absolutely love it, even in the pandemic, I feel privileged." added Sharon.