Proud Winners of The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

Our Professional Caring Hero Award Finalists

 

Our Professional Caring Hero Award – Finalists

LUCY HOWE

Lucy is the named community nurse for all children in Bury with complex needs. She is completely dedicated to this role and all of her patients, going over and above for every single child on her caseload. She works long hours to make sure everything is done she is always there at the end of the phone for any of the parents who need to speak to her. She does everything she can to make sure that the children receive the best care possible. She is a support to the parents and she genuinely cares for the children. She is a true hero and champion for those who can't champion themselves. She deserves this award as she is so important to the children of Bury.

Lucy is not only an amazing Nurse she is an incredible advocate for our family and other families who have medically complex children. Her gentle, caring nature makes you feel at ease through the most difficult times. Lucy goes above and beyond her job role as she coordinates meetings, chases unresolved issues and holds your hand throughout it all. Lucy has saved me so many times when I have felt so low and helpless with my son’s health.

Lucy became our sons Community Nurse nearly 2 years ago and has made the heartbreaking journey we have been on with Bruno less painful-she has attended very difficult appointments with us and help us complete our sons advance care plan, the way she goes about what she does is amazing and she constantly goes above and beyond- she is very caring and extremely professional and always there for support when Bruno is poorly offering advice that always helps to get him back to being as well as he can be- she must get some recognition for all the support she offers to everyone with poorly children.

 

DR AJAY KOTAGOANKAR

Unfortunately our family has had a few medical problems over the years which has meant us visiting the GP a lot! These include lifelong chronic illnesses, life threatening illnesses and mental health problems. He has always gone the extra mile and always managed to squeeze us in no matter how busy he is. I know he does this for his other patients too. He is friendly, approachable, thorough and always professional. He never rushes us at appointments and he is always pleasant despite the considerable stress he must be under. He has great intuition with his patients and senses when something else may be going on. He has a thoroughly holistic approach and having had many other GPS in the past, he stands out as the exception. I find myself dreading the day he retires as I know our family will never find another GP as good as him. It is difficult to put into words the peace of mind that Dr Ajay provides to our family. He is one of the NHS’s hidden gems and he certainly deserves some recognition for all he does for us and his other patients.

 

THE FULL RACHEL HOUSE STAFF TEAM

Rachel House has been at the heart of the community for over 20 years and not many people know about the incredible work that they do to support young homeless people because they do it so discreetly and don't go shouting from the rooftops. They help people with mental ill health, drug and alcohol issues, care leavers, support people into employment, help people in debt prepare people for living on their own etc. All the staff go over and above what they are paid to do every single day. They all work tirelessly and genuinely care about the young people they support. The young people who live there feel safe, feel supported - they have had people go on to university. People still come to visit 5, 10, 15 years later because they feel like family.

The team at Rachel House go above and beyond their normal job roles to support the young people to build on their confidence and self esteem. They organise fund raising events to raise money to take the young people on trips to the beach, residential experiences, parliamentary receptions to voice their concerns for the future, motivational conferences the list is endless. They prepare our young homeless people for independent life in the community.

 

DEBI WALKER

Debi is in this profession because she has her own family difficulties surrounding her son's disabilities. Despite this, her business successfully offers support to hundreds of families across the borough. She works very long hours supporting families and building relationships with professionals to ensure the correct support is offered. Debi has personally helped my family recently through a very difficult time. My son has been self harming, he is verbally and physically threatening and Debi has come out to us at the weekend, in her own time to complete welfare checks. She has been at the end of the telephone for me when I have been so emotional and unable to know where to turn. She’s liaised with professionals to try and make sure the right senior people know about our plight. She is in essence trying to stop serious harm, injury or worse from happening. She battles and fights on my behalf when I cannot take anymore. She has propped up my family and for what feels like an eternity and her assistance has been so valuable, money cannot buy. I honestly believe without Debi's caring, professional and direct attitude and commitment, I would have been hospitalised by now (mental breakdown). Debi hasn’t just supported me, but she has worked with my son and gained valuable information from him that no other professional has managed to do. She has also worked with my daughter to help her understand what is going on at home and try to assist her understanding of this very difficult time. Debi also assisted our family to gain help with a Personal Assistant for our son. And again, this would not have been possible without her as we hit many many hurdles when trying to do this with other people and organisations. I believe I would not be around, able to type this without the strong support and help Debi has offered.

The assistance that Debi has provided to our family has been second to none, dealing with a daughter whom has SEND is draining on both myself and my wife. We have tried to seek help for our daughter for numerous services with no luck, these difficulties are exasperated by the fact that I am also disabled. Debi is always available (even in evenings and weekends) to support our family at times when everyone else seemingly abandons our family. Mrs Walker was a huge supporting factor when we had to move our daughter’s school as her school was not making adjustments to meet our daughter’s physical and mental needs because they lacked funds with Debi on board we managed to get our girl into a different setting, which the new school has since November 2018, invested £4K and is having huge positive impacts on our daughter and family.