HEREFORDSHIRE has hailed its heroes and heroines of health and social care at a glittering awards ceremony.

More than 200 people gathered at the Three Counties Hotel, Hereford, to hear some remarkable stories of dedication and expertise.

Finalists in 12 categories across the Hereford Times Health and Social Care Awards 2019 were saluted by a hugely appreciative audience that included nominees, guests and dignitaries.

The evening culminated in an award for the overall winner Gary Meddings, a support worker for Leominster-based Services for Independent Living, who was judged to have made an Outstanding Contribution to Health and Social Care in Herefordshire.

His meticulous efforts helped a man with extremely complex physical needs prepare a Mother's Day lunch from his mum for the first time in his life. It was a deeply moving gesture with immense significance for them both.

Gary had earlier won the Care Hero category of the awards.

Winners in all categories were chosen by a panel of judges for the hard work and dedication they have shown in caring for others in need.

After enjoying a three-course meal the audience was entertained by guest speaker Jamie 'Adventureman' McDonald, who told the story of his epic charity fund-raising run across Canada.

The event also raised £738 for chosen charity the Music Pool.

Charity administrator Dennis Schiavon said: "Our congratulations and big respect to all the winners and nominees. There were so many inspiring stories.

"We were honoured to be the event's beneficiary charity, and we thank the Hereford Times management and staff team, all the event sponsors, and the event organisers. And, of course, we're immensely grateful for the generous donations from all the guests."

The event's headline sponsor was the University of Worcester. Other backers were NHS Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Nuffield Health, Rotherwas Healthcare, Hoople Training Education, Taurus Healthcare, 2Together NHS Foundation Trust, Herefordshire Care Hero, Katherine Harriet Bespoke Home Care, Border Office Supplies and Systems, Bluebird Care, Harrison Clark Rickerbys, Sweat Help and Sodexo.

Don't miss our 16-page Health and Social Care Awards special supplement with more reports and pictures in next week's Hereford Times.

The winners were:

Care Team: Altogether Care

Care Hero: Gary Meddings

Care Home Worker: Sadie Harris

Domiciliary Care Worker: Vicky Davies

Good Nurse: Cheryl Poole

GP Practice of the Year: Fownhope Medical Centre

Care Trainer: Jessica Dunn

Dignity in Care: Lorraine Quinn

Dementia Carer: Anne Parsons

Palliative/End-of-Life Award: Tony Blower

Mental Health Award: Becky Cook

Care Employer: Kemble At Home