A West Norfolk carer has won an award less than a year after taking on a new role looking after people in their own homes.
Hayley Handley-Hicks was nominated for a GEM award – which stands for Going the Extra Mile – from her employer award-winning Norfolk home care company Extra Hands.
She was put forward for the accolade for her calm and efficient manner when helping a service user after he had a fall.
Hayley, who lives in West Lynn, took on her role with family-run company Extra Hands in March last year after previously working in residential care and caring for a family member.
The 36-year-old, who has five children ranging in age from six to 19 and works from the firm’s Heacham office, said she made the switch to care at home as it offered a more ‘person centred’ approach.
The nomination was submitted by a service user to Extra Hands, which was set up in 1993 and provides a variety of home care visit packages across Norfolk, to suit all requirements and budgets.
He told how he had been trying to put socks on when he slipped from his chair to the floor, knocking over a table on the way.
Unfortunately he could not reach help through an alarm unit upstairs and his family members were unable to answer calls.
He wrote: “I was laying on the floor unable to get up, thankfully my carer Hayley arrived and surveyed the chaos before making sure I was unhurt and lifting me onto my chair, saying rest while I sort this out which won’t take me long.
“I was very impressed, I had never been so pleased to see someone who had quickly assessed the situation and calmly and efficiently sorted my mess out, for which I was most grateful and which reflected well on your organisation.”
Hayley said had not been expecting the award and was shocked to receive the recognition from Extra Hands, which provides a wellbeing check service – the first of its kind in Norfolk – that provides short visits to check up on care users when friends and family are unable to make the visit, giving everyone peace of mind.
She said: “It’s about doing those little things that make people feel better.
“It is you turning up to a call with one of your regulars and they are relieved that it is you – they are confident that you know what you are doing and what they like.
“It is rewarding when they say ‘I am so glad you are here’.”