MANY of the county’s unsung heroes this week received some much deserved – and long overdue – praise.

The Hereford Times Health and Social Care Awards 2018 set out to recognise those going way beyond what was expected to improve the lives of so many people in the community.

There were 13 categories in total and some 39 finalists chosen.

Last night's awards in the impressive surrounds of Lyde Arundel featured many inspiring stories which ensured the odd (good) tear was shed.

One of the most emotional moments came when Jan Best won the Good Nurse award posthumously.

Jan had worked in the health industry for 40 years and looked after many patients within the NHS and at the Nuffield site on Aylestone Hill.

Her dedication was such that she continued working when being treated for cancer – and even turned in for afternoon shifts having had chemotherapy in the morning.

She died in December, aged 63, and her husband Mike and daughter Stephannie accepted the award in her memory.

Other individual winners included Ruben Franco, who took the Dementia Carer award for his work with the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, and Tammie Newman, from Ashfield House, who took home the Care Home Worker prize.

Meanwhile, two colleagues from St Michael’s Hospice were also among the prizes for their sterling work with the Bartestree-based site.

Mel Woodhouse won the Palliative Care/End of Life Award while Siobhan McQuillan won the Dignity in Care category.

There was also special praise for those who work in teams with the Weobley and Staunton Surgery named GP Practice of the Year and Altogether Care taking the Care Employer crown.

Hoople Training was named the best Care Trainer, the Community Brokers scooped the Care Innovator title and Alice Roberts had even more reason to celebrate her 27th birthday when she helped lead Marches Home Care Services to the Care Team crown.

Others recognised for their outstanding service included Home Care Worker champion Helen Williams, Care Hero Elaine Powell and Amy Deacon, from Services for Independent Living, who took the Outstanding Contribution to Social Care title.

A collection in aid of the Little Princess Trust, which provides real hair wigs free of charge to children and young adults up to the age of 24 who have  lost their own hair due to cancer treatment and other illnesses, raised £720.

  • There will be more on the awards in a special supplement in next week’s Hereford Times.
  • All pictures by James Maggs