A CARE home worker from Northumberland has been named the best activities coordinator in the country at a national awards ceremony.
Angela Hedley, who works at The Oaks Care Home, on Durban Street, Blyth, was named Activities Coordinator of the Year at the National Dementia Care Awards.
Angela has been at The Oaks for six years, having been a carer for more than three decades at homes across the North East.
She took on the role of activities coordinator just 18 months ago but has already had a big impact on residents’ lives – introducing a variety of new events and activities to the home.
Among those are hen keeping, armchair karate, a gramophone party, animal therapy sessions, trips to the seaside, cooking and baking, gardening and more.
Angela took part in a rigorous judging process requiring five nomination testimonies, photographic evidence of events and activities, plus a face-to-face interview at The Hilton Metropole, in London, earlier this year.
The shortlist came down to five finalists ahead of a gala dinner and awards ceremony at Doncaster Racecourse, where Angela was named as the winner and presented with her award.
She said: “I was blown away. I never expected to win. I even cried and I never cry. Thank you to Ann, Hill Care and especially my residents, as without them I wouldn’t be here.
“I applied for the role of activities coordinator as I always enjoyed helping with activities and wanted a new challenge, staying in care but looking at things from a different perspective.
“I thoroughly enjoy my work. It’s the little things that mean a lot to me. I love to see the residents smile and achieve when they initially say they can’t do anything.
“I feel I have grown from strength to strength but still have so much I want to do. I do feel I’m learning everyday alongside my residents and together we can achieve whatever we want.”
Ann Mielnik, home manager at The Oaks Care Home, said: “I am so proud of Angela.
“She has achieved so much in 18 months since taking up the activities coordinator role and has brought numerous new and exciting opportunities to the residents.
“Angela has had a positive effect on everyone in the home and makes the atmosphere into a vibrant, happy, fulfilling place.
“After the ceremony was over, I spoke with several judges who said that all the finalists were very good but Angela was amazing. In her interview they said they shed tears listening to her stories of the good times with the Oaks residents.”