A CARE home is celebrating after one of its team members was awarded a prestigious accolade.

Caryn Walmsley, a Senior Carer at Care UK’s Grangewood, on Chester Road, Houghton Le Spring has been named Dementia Carer of the Year at the Northern Echo Health and Care Awards.

Created this year, the awards aim to highlight the strength, determination and compassion of those in the health and care service in light of the pandemic. The Dementia Carer of the Year award focuses on the contribution of an individual carer who strives to improve the delivery of care for those living with dementia.

Over the past year, Mrs Walmsley, who has worked in the care sector since 2008, has gone above and beyond for residents at Grangewood.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, she ensures each and every resident feels important, valued, and loved as an individual while promoting a person-centred approach to dementia care.

Praised for her kindness, Mrs Walmsley organises activities which give residents meaningful experiences, whether it’s singing or simply reminiscing, while encouraging independence.

Mrs Walmsley said: “This has been a strange and challenging year for everyone, but especially for those working and living in care homes.

"What we do is more than simply a job, and the past 12 months have truly reinforced just how important the service we provide for residents and their families is.

“The past 12 months has brought us even closer together, as we all tried our hardest to maintain a sense of normality for residents wherever possible.

"I’m thrilled to have been named Dementia Carer of the Year, but I’m also incredibly proud of how hard the team has worked, supporting me and the rest of the leadership team at the home – they are all heroes in my eyes.”

Joleen Rayner, Home Manager at Grangewood, added: “I’m incredibly happy to see Caryn’s hard work being recognised.

"On top of being our dementia expert, she’s an incredibly dedicated individual and is a beacon of light for residents and team members alike.

"I’d like to say a big thank you to Caryn for everything she does on a daily basis, as well as her kindness and courage throughout the pandemic – the home wouldn’t be the same without her. Congratulations, Caryn.”

Grangewood is a state-of-the-art care home which provides full-time residential, dementia, nursing and short-term respite care.

The home has been designed to enable its residents to live active and fulfilled lives, while also promoting independence.

For more information about the home visit: careuk.com/grangewood