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'Inspirational' Stourport carer wins national award
AN “inspirational” carer at a Stourport Nursing home has been crowned a national champion in the Great British Care Home Awards 2012.
Jacqui Preen, a care assistant at Ravenhurst Care Home won The Care Newcomer Award.
“It was surreal and was an absolutely amazing night,” she said. “When they said I was the winner I just sat there and it didn’t register – I just couldn’t believe it. I really didn’t think I had a chance of winning. I was shocked. I can’t explain how I feel it still hasn’t sunk in yet.
“One of the highlights was getting to meet [tv presenter] Ben Shephard. I walked up to the stage and threw my arms around him - he was absolutely lovely.”
Mrs Preen was welcomed back to Ravenhurst with a huge banner outside the home congratulating her on her win.
She added: “If it wasn’t for Ravenhurst and the things the team has taught me I wouldn’t have won. It’s with their backing that I’ve won it.”
The former hairdresser got through to the West Midlands regional finals of the awards last year, in the same category.
Her passion for people was so inspiring, she was nominated for the national finals, which took place at a glittering awards ceremony on Saturday at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.
It was after visiting her late grandmother Elise White at Ravenhurst that Mrs Preen decided to join the team 18 months ago.
The 47-year-old said: “I love the residents, they give me so much more than I think I ever give them and they just make everything worthwhile. They are like my second family. I just get so much satisfaction from my work – being able to make somebody smile and make their day is so rewarding for me.”
Mrs Preen was nominated for the regional award by the home’s manager Anastasia Meredith, who said: “There are some people who just have a natural desire to care and understand the importance of putting your residents at the heart of everything you do. Jacqui is one of those people, consistently going that extra mile for our residents.”
She added: “To give an example of Jacqui’s dedication to her role, she will often come to work on her days off to help to take our residents on trips. Her dedication to her role is truly inspirational and we are all so proud to have her as part of our team.”