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
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.