Joy Miles, from Falmouth, has just won Cornwall Care’s ‘Outstanding Employee’ award. That in itself is a huge accolade for someone who has worked full-time at Redannick residential care home in Truro for the last 17 years. What makes her achievement even more impressive, however, is Joy’s age. She is 89 – older than many of the people she is looking after.
“I work 2.5 days a week – from 6.30am to 9pm on the two full days,” she said, smiling broadly. “The residents and staff are like my extended family and I genuinely love them all. I worked at Treliske Hospital as a healthcare assistant for 24 years before joining Cornwall Care and feel very lucky to still be doing a job that means so much to me. There is a poster on the wall at work that reads ‘Don’t count the days, make the days count’ and that sums up the way I like to live my life. It’s wonderful to be able to help those who need extra support – after all, there but for the grace of God go all of us.”
Joining Joy on the stage at Cornwall Care’s glittering event, held at The Eden Project, were other equally deserving winners. Anna Patino, who works at Blackwood in Camborne, was named Outstanding Housekeeper; Penny Parsons from St Martin’s in Camborne was the Outstanding Chef; Sharon Cartmel, from Trevarna in St Austell, was Outstanding Manager; the Outstanding Team were from Trevern in Falmouth; Emma Jones, from Trevern, was Outstanding Nurse; Bernadette Richardson, from Blackwood, was Outstanding Carer; Sarah Devine, who is based in Threemilestone, won the Outstanding Support Staff title; Susan Connon, from The Green in Redruth, was named Outstanding Activities Coordinator; Bernadette Richardson picked up a second award as Outstanding Learner; the Residents and Relatives Award went to Mountford in Truro and the Special Recognition title went to Linda Delbridge, from Headlands in Carbis Bay.
As well as honouring those who had given outstanding service, 24 members of staff from all parts of the county were acknowledged on stage for their training achievement.
“We received 643 nominations for our Outstanding Staff Awards this year – proof, if ever proof were needed, of the amazing work that is going on day in, day out, in Cornwall Care to look after older and vulnerable people in our local community,” said Chief Executive Officer Anne Thomas. “All our nominees demonstrated qualities that deliver the very best of human kindness, consideration and compassion and I’m very proud of the professional excellence each and every one of them represents.
“Ongoing learning and development are also a key part of Cornwall Care’s ethos and I would like to thank all those studying for additional qualifications to update and improve their skills. A third of Cornwall’s population is aged 65 and over so it has never been more important to value our care workers and build on their expertise. Their role is to help improve lives – with patience, empathy and a high level of knowledge. I know I’m not alone in shedding a tear at the 2019 awards. It was such a joyous celebration of all that is great about our charity – one that I believe really is making a difference.”