THIS week's Hereford Times honours the winners of our Health and Social Care Awards 2020.

We salute, in a 36-page special supplement, the dedication and sacrifice of those who had done so much to help us and our loved ones in this year of coronavirus. Our winners are pictured after the event in this online gallery.

When Covid-19 locked down the country our lives became very different overnight and the plans for the awards – which are usually presented at a glitzy black-tie dinner – were sent into disarray.

We had to postpone them, and not everyone was sure they could go ahead, or what response we would get from staff and care organisations working so hard during the Covid crisis.

But we knew we had to find a way to reward those in the health and social care sectors for their dedication, compassion and care demonstrated on a daily basis.

Hereford Times: The Hereford Times Health and Social Care Awards 2020 winners supplementThe Hereford Times Health and Social Care Awards 2020 winners supplement

The decision to go ahead with a digital event last week (you can still view it on the Hereford Times Facebook page, see graphic above) has been vindicated in so many ways.

We had a record number of entries, with more than 250 nominations as clients, colleagues and managers queued up to make sure the people they felt deserved praise were put forward, in this of all years.

Then there was the event itself. It was sad not to be able to mingle with the finalists and drink in the special atmosphere, but the audience figures for our video were huge.

With hundreds and hundreds of people commenting and sharing, the event involved far more people than could have taken part at a physical event.

But perhaps what vindicates it most are the views of the winners. So many mentioned what a tough, challenging year it had been.

So many of them had stories of hard times, both professionally and personally. There was stress, anxiety, extra workload, heartbreak and tears.

They stressed how easily any other entrant could have won, because so many richly deserved to be acknowledged as someone special.

And they stressed how ‘lovely’ it was to be publicly recognised for their work by these awards.

One of them summed it up when she said that precisely because the awards went ahead despite all the challenges thrown up by the pandemic this year, winning made her feel extra special.

As a newspaper we are so proud to have been able to run these awards and put our care heroes in the limelight.

The winners

  • Euan McPherson and Paul Stevens, Overall winners (for Outstanding Contribution to Health and Social Care)
  • Caroline Amos, Child and Adolescent Health Care
  • Euan McPherson and Paul Stevens, Mental Health
  • Diane Newman, Palliative/End-of-life
  • Angela Dallow, Care Trainer
  • Katherine Harriet Bespoke Home Care, Health Care Employer
  • Herefordshire Local Optical Committee, Health Care Team
  • Dementia Carer, Nicky Thomas
  • Staunton on Wye Surgery, GP Practice
  • Rebecca Marshall, Care Home Worker
  • Ruth Davies, Domiciliary Care Worker
  • Ricky Baker, Good Nurse
  • Amanda Merrett, Care Hero

Next up in the Hereford Times awards calendar is the Three Counties Farming Awards on Thursday, November 26, which is also being shown on the Hereford Times Facebook page. More details here.

  • Don't miss our winners' supplement. It's a great souvenir of a fabulous event, and is in this week's Hereford Times – on sale now.