WHAT BEING A WINNER MEANT TO ME: WINNIE

Winnie Thornton

"I am Winnie Thornton and I have a very small day Service at Kilcott farm, helped by some long standing, very loyal care assistants who shared my table at the event.

I was very surprised to have been nominated for the day care award and even more so to find myself being presented with the winner's trophy.

We felt a little like imposters, playing with the 'big kids'; the wonderful organisations that do so much for so many people; we do a little for a few. We are privileged and fortunate to be trusted with the care of some very special people and have been doing so in my own farmhouse for 20 years.

The service users are mostly referred to me by South Glos social workers because they are diffficult to place for various reasons, finding more structured day centres difficult to fit into. We are not really a day centre in an organised structured way but we promise to keep our service users safe, occupied well fed and cared for so that full time carers, mostly mums and dads can have some free time. We hope we provide the sort of care that we would want for someone that we loved. We are a happy little bunch and all get on well together - lots of laughing and singing and home spun activities - just another day at Granny's really - visitors always welcome!

So you can see that our one night of being treated like celebrities, wearing our posh frocks, was a real confidence boost. We felt like part of something much bigger and brighter and left us a little bit prouder of our day jobs.

Still can't believe I have an award just for doing my job but it sits proudly on my desk reminding me of my lovely night out, in lovely company. Thank you so much. I hope lots of carers will have the same experience in the future. We are all doing the same job and lots deserve the nominations; far more than I did - I loved it - could get used to it!!"

Members NewsLydia Walker