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Care worker Gaynor is a winner

10 April 2019

A former naval communications officer has been named Lincolnshire's social care rising star.

Gaynor Jones spent seven years in the Royal Navy, before joining the team at Cedar House, in Spalding, which provides respite care for adults with learning disabilities and autism.

Judges at the Lincolnshire Care Awards said that Gaynor was selected as the winner because of the passion she shows for her work and her ability to reflect.

She was presented with her award at a gala dinner at the County Assembly Rooms in Bailgate, Lincoln.

The 45-year-old was nominated for the Rising Star award by both her manager Julie Watson and Trish Wilkinson, the mother of one of the people she cares for.

Trish’s son Scott, 19, has stayed for short breaks at Cedar House around 20 times over the last 18 months. She said she put Gaynor forward for the accolade because she felt it was important to let someone know when they are doing a great job.

“It was hard for me when Scott turned 18 and had to move from children’s to adult services,” she said. “He can’t communicate how he’s feeling, but as soon as I heard Gaynor singing to him, I knew he’d be fine.

“Gaynor is so warm and friendly and approachable and she was the first person we met at Cedar House. She made us feel instantly comfortable. She’s a real problem solver and you know whenever you mention anything to her she will sort it out. She is absolutely a deserving winner.”

Originally from South Wales, senior support worker Gaynor has been employed at the centre, which is operated by adult health and social care charity Making Space, for the last two years. This is her first role in social care.

Julie Watson is Gaynor’s manager and the registered manager at Cedar House. She said: “Gaynor is always happy and the people we care for love our little Welsh lass. Best of all is when we see people who can’t communicate come to life when they hear her voice.

“Working in social care is hard, but Gaynor is always a total professional. Nothing phases her at all.”

Gaynor said: “I am absolutely over the moon to have won.

“A good support worker needs to be caring, patient, imaginative and excellent at communicating. Being in the Navy was excellent preparation as I leaned organisation skills, problem solving and logistics, all of which are also important in health and social care roles.”

Cedar House provides short term respite care for up to seven people at a time. Thirty-three adults with physical disabilities, autism and learning difficulties use the service at different times of the year.

It was rated ‘good’ by social care watchdog Care Quality Commission (CQC) in August 2017.

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