Who will be named carer of the year?

John Madison. EMN-190316-201159001
John Madison. EMN-190316-201159001

One of the newest categories in the Town Awards is Carer of the Year.

We have three nominees shortlisted.

Ashdene Care Home dementia care team, from left - Sheila Lester, Jilly Hunt - care home manager, Luke McCarthy and Janet Ullyatt. EMN-190316-201926001

Ashdene Care Home dementia care team, from left - Sheila Lester, Jilly Hunt - care home manager, Luke McCarthy and Janet Ullyatt. EMN-190316-201926001

Ashdene Care Home was recently attended the Lincolnshire Care Awards, with one of its carers, Claire Hallam, receiving a highly commended for the Residential Care Award and its dementia care team as finalists for the outstanding care team.

Manager Jill Hunt says: “I couldn’t be more proud of my team, they all work extremely hard. Working in care isn’t just any old job that you go in and clock in then finish and walk away, you need to be a special sort of person. It is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling careers that you can have, when you make a break through with someone with dementia and you gain their trust and get a smile from them it makes you feel superhuman.

“Recently my own mum came to stay at the home and the staff managed to give me a moment of recognition and love with her because she felt relaxed and safe.

“Care homes in general only make the news when something goes wrong - that is why I like to shout out when we have anything going on at the home and let people know that all care homes are not the same, some like ours are like a big happy family.”

Karen Kenward. EMN-190316-200639001

Karen Kenward. EMN-190316-200639001

John Madison, of Sleaford, has been nominated for the work he has done to get Sleaford Dementia Group up and running.

Sadly, John’s wife Jane was diagnosed with dementia and John became her full-time carer, 24 hours a day. His only lifeline was two locally-based dementia groups, however he discovered one was to close down because of lack of funding.

John knew what the group meant to Sleaford and despite struggling at home with the upset of seeing what dementia was doing to his wife, he found the time and energy to contact the local media to get an independent group up and running to support people with dementia and their carers.

It is known as Sleaford Dementia Group and has just celebrated its second birthday. Despite his wife’s death, John continues to support the group by fundraising and volunteering.

He gives the families lifts and supports people whose partners have had to go into care. He even does their gardening without payment as he knows how awful this illness can be to families.

His nomination says he has “a heart of gold.”

It adds: “He has also battled with the care professionals to get them to recognise the difficulties for people with dementia and their carers. He also volunteers at the Alzheimer’s group on a Wednesday morning. He really does make a difference to people who are going through a difficult time.”

Finally, Karen Kenward, a retired police officer and swim teacher of Sleaford, set up the parent-run Rainbow Flyers Youth Club in September 2015 at Ruskington Youth Centre, for children and young persons with a special need or disability.

It is dedicated to her son Thomas, who has autism, who she cares for. It is a safe place for children with disability to interact, socialise and gain life skills, increasing independence and confidence.

The club encourages them to prepare a small meal, help with a Tuck Shop, have a haircut or reflexology. The children can do crafts, relax and watch TV, as well as sports and seasonal events.

Karen has also helped out as a volunteer at two primary schools, one main stream and the other a special needs school, as well as helping with Sleaford Cubs.