The Hereford Times’ Care Hero of the Year urges people to nominate candidates for the Western Telegraphs up-and-coming Health and Care Awards.

For the past sixteen years Amanda Merrett has been working as a carer, stationed at a community hospice and various care homes in Herefordshire throughout her career.

She joined Kemble at Home sixteen months ago as a live-in carer and was nominated by her manager Marisa Jennings for the award.

Amanda had been caring at the same placement since starting her new job, supporting her client when her husband died shortly before the lockdown in March.

The family of whom Amanda was caring for were unable to visit due to the restrictions set in place by the government, so they were sadly not able to grieve together.

Over the course of the next few months, Amanda continued to offer her full support to her client when things such as family birthdays were not celebrated as normal.

Amanda went out of her way to help to keep a family tradition of a ‘ribs and crusty bread supper’ to celebrate such milestone events, which was greatly appreciated by the children and grandchildren of the person she’s caring for.

Amanda said, “I was absolutely thrilled to be nominated and in complete shock when I won.”

“Having the award ceremony online this year was certainly different, but It would have been so easy for it to become another cancelled event. Being streamed live meant that my client was also able to be included in the proceedings and she absolutely loved it. We had the best hour watching the show – especially the celebs congratulating the winners!

“People are living longer with more complex needs, so a carers role is a lot more in depth than it used to be.

“It is very important that health and care workers get the recognition that they truly deserve, as well as the continued support from our peers – it goes a long way towards making us feel valued and appreciated.

“I urge anyone to nominate those who they feel are real the life heroes especially through this difficult time of a global pandemic – health and care workers need all the support they can get! I’ve already nominated and found the online process very easy to do.”

If you know of someone worthy of winning an award at our third annual Health and Care Awards, maybe it’s your local GP Practice, the family doctor, or a nurse who went above and beyond for you or a family member, make sure you nominate them by filling out a simple form on our website and help us to celebrate Pembrokeshire’s healthcare heroes this December.