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Newark-based Cygnet Social Care support worker for adults with learning disabilities wins national award

A support worker who helps adults with learning disabilities and autism has scooped a national award for constantly going ‘above and beyond’ for the residents she supports.

Gemma Meakin, 34, is a support worker at Birches, a Cygnet Social Care service on Eton Avenue, Newark.

She has been recognised for her outstanding care and compassion at Cygnet’s annual nursing awards where she won support worker of the year, and was recognised alongside other nurses from across Cygnet health and social care services.

Gemma Meakin with Cygnet director of nursing David Wilmott.
Gemma Meakin with Cygnet director of nursing David Wilmott.

The Cygnet Nursing Conference and Awards took place last week at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham.

On receiving her award, Gemma said: “It is brilliant to represent not only myself but Birches. The residents are absolutely the best thing about my job, seeing them smile and achieve things.

“I hope the passion for my job shines through.”

The event was hosted by David Wilmott, Cygnet group director of nursing, who added: “The awards provide an opportunity for staff to nominate colleagues for the exceptional work that they do. This year we had a record number of nominations and it gives me enormous pleasure to recognise those who make outstanding contributions to the care that our service users and residents receive.”

Gemma’s nominators, the team at Birches said: “Gemma always goes above and beyond for our residents; showing care and compassion to all residents, staff and family members.

“Gemma will empower residents to achieve targets by supporting them, enabling them and allowing them to take positive risks. Gemma respects every individual who walks through the door regardless of their job role.

“She organises holidays for the residents and invites families to spend quality time with their loved ones; planning all of the activities whilst they are away. Gemma includes family members and treats them equally as part of our community.

“Gemma firmly believes that family time is important and will always include those closest in decision making. She is a real asset to Birches and every other service she supports.”

Karen Johnson, senior vice president and chief clinical officer, behavioural health at Cygnet’s parent company Universal Health Services, announced the finalists and winners of the awards — for which there were 529 nominations across nine awards categories.

Congratulating Gemma on her award win, Dr Tony Romero, chief executive of Cygnet, said: “Nursing is a true vocation that requires compassion, knowledge, professionalism, humility and good humour. I am incredibly proud of the talented nursing teams we have across Cygnet who turn up every day to provide care to some of society’s most vulnerable people.

“We owe so much to our nurses and it gives me great pleasure to thank them all and congratulate award winners like Gemma. They improve and transform the lives of thousands of people every year, helping each individual to be the best version of themselves.”

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