The prestigious awards were held at The Manor House near Castle Combe, Wiltshire and paid tribute to incredible members of our team that have gone above and beyond to make a real difference to the lives of those they care for.
Marina, who received her award for her dedication in the support of her client throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, currently works in the North of England, but moved to the UK from Greece, where her family still resides.
While the awards emphasised the difference that care makes in people’s lives, it also praised the skill and dedication of care workers such as Marina, to maintain normality throughout the global health emergency.
Meet our Agincare Hero
Originally from Greece, Marina worked in care for 18 years before joining Agincare as a live-in care worker in 2019.
I got my degree as a nurse’s assistant in 2009 and since then I have been working as a nurse in Greece and also I got a degree as assistant microbiologist.
Marina lives with her client, Jack, in his home and, with the assistance of a night care worker, provides 24 hour, one to one support on a daily basis.
With consistent care from one individual, live-in care provides the security and comfort of routine; enabling the client to continue living as independently as possible at home, safe in the knowledge that help is at hand should they need it.
For Jack, this consistent support would be vital when the world turned upside down as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Consistent care through challenging times
Welcoming Marina to the stage at the awards ceremony, Adam Luckhurst (Director of Head Office Services) commended her for providing;
consistent care for her client whilst also managing the difficult emotions of being unable to visit her own family back home in Greece. It is thanks to our winner’s attentiveness and compassion that Jack was able to live unaffected by the pandemic.
In March 2020, the routines of many across the UK were halted by the Prime Minister’s announcement that lockdown measures were to come into force and everyone should stop non-essential contact and travel.
For Marina, this meant being unable to return to Greece where her two sisters, parents and daughter, Christina, live. Prohibited from supporting them during the pandemic, Marina struggled with her worries for her family back home and yet, without alarming Jack to her distress, continued to deliver consistent care.
I stayed in the UK for 10 months and worked for Jack throughout the pandemic. I felt anxious, afraid if something would happen to my family and I couldn’t go. My biggest concern was that I didn’t know when I would go, they kept cancelling the flights.
Keeping up the good times
Jack has been supported by Marina for the past three years. Among his favourite activities are visits from his family, walks to the aircraft hangar where he used to store and fly his own plane, and also trips out in the car. The latter, Marina explains, is a daily occurrence.
Jack and I go out every day for a drive. Every single day and as often as Jack wants. Sometimes as soon as we get home after a half hour he wants to go out again and we go; usually the journey is 45minutes/1 hour and he is really very happy, singing in the car, giving directions where to go. He honestly enjoys it.
With the lockdown prohibiting visits and unessential travel, Marina looked to alternative ways for Jack to continue doing the things he loves. They spent hours browsing his favourite books and magazines on planes, and Marina supported him to use Skype so that he could continue talking to his family.
Most of all however, Marina was able to put aside her own worries in an incredible act of selflessness to ensure that her client was not distressed by global events. This included moving over to the night shifts so that she could support Jack when he needed it most.
Together they worked through the challenges of multiple lockdowns and further developed their strong bond as friends.
Nominating Marina for the Agincare Hero award, Jack’s daughter said:
It is a joy to see Dad breaking into a smile when he sees his care worker, who he really trusts. We as a family are so grateful to the professional and personable care Dad has received from her.
Marina continues to support Jack as his live-in care worker and, finally, was able to visit her family in Greece in April. It was the first time she had seen them since the pandemic began.
Reflection, recognition and celebration
At the exclusive awards ceremony, the twelve winners were invited to the stage to collect their Agincare Hero certificate and medal from Founder and Chairman, Derek Luckhurst and Chief Executive, Raina Summerson. Winners also received a luxury hamper, bouquet of flowers and £500.
Marina is a lovely unique care worker, she goes above and beyond for her client. Due to Jack’s dementia, he wants to go out for a drive every day and sometimes up to 8 times a day; Marina always takes him as many times as he wants. She has been with Jack for some time now and when she walks into the room his eyes light up as he recognises her.
I am very proud of her. She is an asset to Agincare and I am so glad she is part of my team. Well done Marina.
Our very first Agincare Hero Awards, the event was received with a true sense of celebration, recognition and also reflection. The ceremony welcomed attendees to reflect on all that we had overcome in the past two years and to celebrate the acts of heroism and selflessness of a select few within Agincare who went above and beyond.
In her own look back at the awards ceremony, Marina said:
On the day of the awards ceremony I was very happy, very proud for myself and felt very special. It is a day I will remember for the rest of my life.
Become an Agincare hero
While the Agincare Heroes awards recognises those who have gone above and beyond, all of our care workers are heroes.