Health and Wellbeing

Devon County Council Care worker recognised by Dementia UK

Posted on: 11 December 2012

Val Staples, a care assistant at a Devon County Council Care Home in Torrington has won Dementia UK’s annual Margaret Butterworth award.

Val, who works in Woodland Vale Care Home in Torrington, was nominated for her work with people with very advanced dementia.

The award is given annually in memory of Margaret Butterworth, who, during her career and later life, worked energetically and creatively to improve care for people with dementia, their friends and families.

The judges were impressed with Val’s range of skills and innate qualities. They particulary liked her soft and gentle approach, her ability to tune in to each individual and calm anxieties, her passion for the work, and her kindness and commitment to involving residents in every day activities and meaningful occupation.

Val was nominated by Woodland Vale Care Home Manager, Simone Dunford, who said she felt “tremendously proud to work alongside her”, and Jeanie Blackall whose mother lives at the home.

Jeanie said: “I have met many, many carers over the years, some poor, some good. Some ‘do all the right things’ but lack that special awareness, understanding and personal qualities that make a real difference. I rate Val Staples as excellent! She has made a real difference to mum’s life and well-being and hence to mine also.”

Val said “I had a wonderful day, it was a great honour and privilege to be nominated let alone win the award”, she continued “It was so unexpected, I cannot believe it happened to me as I was just doing the job I love. Thank you to everyone who nominated me”.

When asked if she thought the award would change her she replied “no of course not, it just makes me very proud to be doing what I do at Woodland Vale and for people to recognise my efforts.”

Councillor Stuart Barker, Cabinet Member responsible for Devon County Council’s Care Homes said: “I’m delighted that Val has won this award and has been recognised for her excellent care in one of our care homes.”

“Woodland Vale will be one of the first care homes to be redeveloped into a dementia Centre of Excellence, designed with the latest technology to enable people with dementia to live safely, and as independently as possible.  People like Val are integral in delivering  this first class care.”

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