The prestigious award paid tribute to extraordinary members of our team that have gone above and beyond, or have made a real difference to the lives of those they care for. Nominations were received in their hundreds but only a dozen individuals would go on to be honoured as an Agincare Hero Award recipient.
A care worker from Portsmouth, Yvette stood out for her incredible heart to care and the positive difference she made in the final year of her client’s life.
Meet our Agincare Hero
Yvette has been a live-in care worker with Agincare for the last year and a half. Born in Jamaica, she spent many years travelling before finally settling in the UK in 2019.
Despite exploring a number of careers in the past, including working in a law firm, Yvette always seemed to return to care; the sector in which she began.
As a live-in care worker, Yvette lives with her client in their home so to provide 24-hour, one to one support. Live-in care provides a unique, person-centred care experience, with care workers often forming close bonds with clients and their families.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the support that Yvette provided for Hazel and her family.
An exclusive awards ceremony
Welcoming Yvette to the stage at an exclusive ceremony at The Manor House near Castle Combe, Wiltshire, Adam Luckhurst (Director of Head Office Services) commended Yvette for her;
show of incredible dedication and compassion [that] enriched the last year of Hazel’s life and gave her family precious time and memories to cherish.
When Hazel was discharged from hospital in February 2020, she was unable to mobilise and required two care workers to assist her. With healthcare professionals predicting that Hazel would live only a further 6 weeks, she began receiving end-of-life care from Yvette.
Despite such an extrapolation looming over them, Yvette refused to give up on Hazel and proceeded to go above and beyond to facilitate remarkable progress in her mobility and wellbeing. Yvette explains;
I saw the light in her eyes. It wasn’t how she was in her final days a year later. I sat with her, reassured her, paid attention to her reactions.
Thanks to Yvette’s care and support, just five months after leaving hospital Hazel was able to move independently and celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by three generations of her family.
The light, which was never extinguished from her eyes was nurtured back to full brightness, and looked, lovingly, at the family who came to celebrate the occasion with her.
We celebrated Hazel’s birthday over two or three days. She got a letter from the Queen. Her grandchildren came to visit and her grandson did a barbeque. She had two burgers and we stood in the doorway watching the family playing in the garden.
Hazel’s niece, who was just one of many to nominate Yvette for the Agincare Hero award, reflected on how much this moment meant to her and the rest of her family in her nomination. She wrote:
It made my heart melt, when I saw these pictures of not only Hazel, but her granddaughter, grandson, plus her two great grandchildren and other family members celebrating her 100th birthday. It is down to the care, love and attention that your member of staff, Yvette, has given Hazel.
A new lease of life
The miraculous change in Hazel‘s health for the better was down to the enduring resilience and resolve shown by her care worker every day throughout that final year.
When talking to Yvette, that unrelenting compassion towards others casts her personality in a welcoming hue; while her instinctual heart to care defines her as a true Agincare Hero.
Hearing that Yvette had won the award for the care she provided to Hazel and her family, Victoria Reid (Registered Manager for Live-in Care South East) added,
Yvette started with us during Covid in February 2021, and quickly settled into placement with her client. She not only provided a professional service but also a personable one, that enabled the client to live happily in their home environment. I would like to say on behalf of us all in the South East office, thank you for her dedication and hard work throughout a challenging year.
It is through these traits that Yvette gained Hazel’s trust.
Care is about the satisfaction that you get knowing you made a difference. The smile on their face. Hazel never smiled much when she first came out of hospital. Her family said she was stern. But I never saw that side of her. She came out of her shell and smiled and laughed.
Hazel passed away in March 2022. While her family continue to mourn her passing, they hold in their hearts an overwhelming gratitude to Yvette for giving a new lease of life to their loved one.
Recognising our superheroes
At the prestigious 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.
In response to receiving her award, Yvette took a moment to reflect on her time caring for Hazel and the bittersweet feeling of being named an Agincare Hero. In her acceptance speech, she said:
Hazel passed away in March and losing her is still very fresh. I am proud to have cared for her and to be receiving this award thanks to Hazel and her family.
Yvette remains in contact with Hazel’s family, particularly her granddaughter, and has thanked them privately for their role in her winning the award.
With the nerves of going up to the stage behind her, Yvette allowed herself to enjoy the atmosphere of what was both a moving and joyous occasion. Coming over to further congratulate the worthy winner, Derek Luckhurst accepted the honour of pinning the medal to her shirt and later stood for photos with her and Raina Summerson in the picturesque gardens of The Manor House.
The day is one that Yvette will never forget and shall forever feel honoured and proud to have been a part of. After the event, we caught up with her to see if that sublime combination of nerves and excitement, pride and humility, had subsided. She said:
It was so special to just be appreciated by the company. That is what makes the company great.
Yvette had yet to come to terms with the significance of what she had achieved. Her family, on the other hand, understand it perfectly.
My family see me as a superhero. They are very proud of me. I told a few people and they spread the news to everyone.
Become an Agincare hero
While the Agincare Heroes awards recognises those who have gone above and beyond, all of our care workers are heroes. The steadfast heart to care really is a superpower.
If you think you have the heart to care search our live-in care worker jobs today.