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Caring gran scoops top award!

As a Mum to five boys, with three grandsons, Karen Holder knows a thing or two about caring.

But she said she was still amazed to win the annual Support Worker of the Year award from her employer, Stroud-based homecare company DoCare.

Karen, 47, who is based with the Cheltenham team, joined DoCare last year after ten years working at her local supermarket, and was soon promoted to the role of Senior Carer. That move into care saw her return to her roots, as she originally trained to work in childcare.

“When I started work it was with children with learning difficulties,” said Karen, from Cheltenham. “Then when my family came along, I gave up work to bring them up. When I returned to work it was at the Co-op.”

It was caring for her own grandmother, when her grandfather died, that prompted Karen to swap careers. “I love working with older people. It is so rewarding and gives me real job satisfaction.”

At DoCare’s fourth annual awards, Care Newcomer of the Year went to Janice Watton, who is based with the Cirencester team. Janice said she loved care because “I wanted to do something worthwhile”.

The awards were presented by David Drew, former Stroud MP and now prospective parliamentary candidate for Labour in next year’s General Election.

David said: “Care often gets marginalised, but it is so important and it’s great to be able to come here and say thank you for all the work carers do.

“My father needed homecare for a time, before he went into a nursing home, and I really appreciated how much people put in, going that extra mile.”

DoCare founder and Development Director, Steve Mills, added: “We’re now in our tenth year, and we’ve provided around one million visits. The awards are a great opportunity to thank the team for all the hard work they do, and particular congratulations to Karen and Janice.”