John Thompson was on an eight-person shortlist for the Gill Chase Award - an annual event to thank carers who have been nominated by their service users and their families for their outstanding work with home care company Extra Hands, which has an office in Horsham St Faith.
The Gill Chase Award was started five years ago in memory of a long-standing Extra Hands carer who died suddenly in 2014 aged 68, and a total of 90 staff members were nominated - the highest total in the five year history of the award.
Speaking during the award ceremony, Anita Walter, Public Relations and Marketing Director at Extra Hands, said the competition was extremely tough this year and praised John for his service with the company, and for being nominated for the third time.
Retirement is a word John says isn’t familiar with, despite the fact he could have put his feet up several years ago.
After more than 15 years with Extra Hands, there isn’t much he hasn’t seen but he still loves to be working at the age of 73 - although he doesn’t really think of it as work at all.
“I had a job, but this isn’t a job really. I love meeting the people and helping them,” he said.
He was formerly a managing supervisor at a large factory, but he said the skills he had in that role were not too different from those needed to be a good carer.
“I often had people in my office and you had to be a good listener and keep calm, if you were making someone redundant or telling them what to do. Listening is very important,” he said.
John works all weekday mornings and isn’t planning on stopping the role he loves any time soon.
His nomination highlights his years of experience and his listening skills working out of the company's Broadland office.
His nominations said John is very thoughtful and effective, always very considerate and takes time to have a conversation.
It adds he is always helpful, friendly and kind and that our service users always look forward to his visits.
One nomination simply read: "John's help enables us to stay in our own home without make us feel 'in care'"
“We always look forward to his visits and we feel he enjoys our company as well. He treats us as he would a member of his own family,” says another nomination form.
“John would also go the extra mile. I cannot fault his willingness to provide the best service he could.”
John along with the other carers shortlisted were presented with a certificate by Extra Hands founder David Evans along with company director and wife Hazel.
John was also awarded with a bottle of whisky as special recognition of his service for the company before Stella Cason was announced as the overall winner.
Extra Hands was rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission earlier this year.. The company was also the first in the county to offer well-being checks to help reassure families and friends who can’t always be available to help.
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