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Gloucestershire’s Kerry-Ann scoops national care award

Gloucestershire homecare worker Kerry-Ann Lees is celebrating after beating rivals to win a prestigious award at Saturday’s (23rd June) Great British Care Awards.

Kerry-Ann, who works for Stroud-based domiciliary care provider DoCare, was named Dementia Carer of the Year and presented with her award by ITV’s Loose Women star Jane McDonald. She had reached the national final in London, after winning the south west regional finals, one of eight held around the country.

"I am absolutely thrilled and very surprised to have won but so proud to have received recognition on a national level,” said Kerry-Ann, 36, who lives in Nailsworth. “I love my job and working with all our clients and the rest of the team and am passionate about early detection of dementia and quality support to ensure the best is available to all our clients. This award is a really nice bonus and an honour."

Kerry-Ann was one of the first to undertake the Dementia Link Programme run in Gloucestershire, and her specialist training helps her to work very effectively with dementia clients and with cross-training the DoCare team.

She has been with DoCare for more than five years, and has worked in the care sector for more than 16 years. She’s qualified to NVQ level 3 in care, and is currently working towards QCF level 5 in leadership and management; she’s also undertaking a leadership course in dementia.

At school, Kerry-Ann toyed with being a chemist – "I loved chemistry" - but did better in her social care qualification at college than her chemistry A-level, so plumped for a career in caring.

"I just love working with people, they are all so different. I've worked in both residential and homecare, but prefer homecare because our clients really want to stay in their own homes and I love being one of the people who enables them to be able to stay there."

DoCare is based in Stroud and has six teams across the county, in Cheltenham, Dursley, Stroud, Gloucester and Yate, as well as Cirencester. The family-run company invests heavily in training staff in the field of dementia and recognises it as an increasingly important aspect of the support they provide to their clients. DoCare now has more than ten staff undertaking the Dementia Link Worker programme, with a waiting list for many more as soon as places become available. This training is passed onto the teams through a three-month internal dementia course, ensuring all support workers can offer specialist support to dementia clients.

Managing Director Steve Mills said: "We are enormously proud of Kerry-Ann, as she so thoroughly deserves this award. She’s completely committed to her work and to caring for all our clients. Kerry-Ann is passionate about the quality of support and care we provide to all our clients, but especially in the field of dementia. Kerry-Ann is also one of the leading members of the DoCare training team who work hard to train other members of the team to be able to help clients suffering from dementia."

Notes to editors:

DoCare covers 650 square miles and has teams based in Cirencester, Cheltenham, Dursley, Gloucester, Stroud and Yate. Its head office is in Stroud.

Set up in 2004, this family-run business provides care and support to suit the needs of its clients, which may be half-an-hour a day or multiple visits per day. Help can be long-term or temporary and covers a range of support, from organising meals and shopping, to personal care or helping with housework. By enlisting help from DoCare, people are able to remain in their own homes instead of going into a care or nursing home. DoCare takes both private referrals and those from Social Services. Not all clients are elderly; DoCare can help all adults who need care at home.

For more information contact Jo Smyth, of Word Worker, on 01666 861149 or email jo@wordworker.co.uk