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Warham's Sharon is a GEM, she goes that extra mile to care

Going the extra mile isn't always appreciated but a West Norfolk care company is making sure staff are recognised for their extra effort in their awards.

When it comes to caring, Sharon Newman takes the approach of treating every person she looks after like a member of her own family.

Now the kindness and compassion in her work has led to an award from West Norfolk home care company Extra Hands, in recognition of how she helped a service user and her family through some difficult and stressful emergency situations.

Sharon Newman, from Warham, was nominated for the GEM award for her role at Extra Hands care company, Heacham. (51874889)
Sharon Newman, from Warham, was nominated for the GEM award for her role at Extra Hands care company, Heacham. (51874889)

Ms Newman, from Warham, was nominated for the GEM award - which stands for going the extra mile - by a family in appreciation of the support given to their mother.

Sharon, who has worked as a carer for the award-winning family-run company for nearly two years, found the service user lying on the floor during a visit.

The family member who nominated her said: “Sharon assessed mother, with all care and compassion and kindness. She made sure mother was comfortable whilst on the floor waiting for the ambulance.

“Sharon was very consistent with mother offering her reassurance to both mother and me the whole time.”

When Sharon went to the home again on another occasion during a routine lunch-time visit, she found the service user was suffering from chest pains.

She sprang into action, immediately ringing 999 and offering support while waiting for the emergency services.

The family said in their nomination, 'Sharon was again very caring and offered her kindness and was very empathetic.'

“Sharon is always, without a doubt, a fantastic, kind, caring person who offered a great deal of respect and kindness.”

Sharon used to work in care homes before taking up her role with Extra Hands, which provides a variety of home care visit packages across Norfolk, to suit all requirements and budgets.

The 51-year-old, who has two children and two granddaughters aged six years old and ten months old, works from the firm’s Heacham office, which has been rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission.

Sharon said helping people be independent for as long as possible was the most rewarding part of the job with Extra Hands, which has been operating for almost 30 years.

She said: “I just think if it was my mum or dad, how I would want them to be treated and how I would want to be treated myself.

“That is how I go about my job every day.”

Building a rapport with service users is also a hugely enjoyable aspect of her role with Extra Hands, which provides a wellbeing check service, the first of its kind in West Norfolk , that provides short visits to check up on care users when friends and family are unable to make the visit, giving everyone peace of mind.

Ms Newman said: “I have one chap now who actually comes to the door and he stands and waves and he won’t go until I have driven off.”

“Sometimes you are the only face they see all day.

“My colleagues that I work with as well are absolutely brilliant - they are a great team.”

When it comes to winning the GEM award, it was a surprise and not expected at all.

She said: “I am very grateful for it. It shows you are appreciated.

“Every day is different. I love the job and being able to help people stay in their own homes.

“I would never have dreamt I would have done this and I was really nervous when I started the job as it is totally different to working in nursing homes.

“There was quite a high demand at the time for carers and I thought I would give it a go and I haven’t looked back.”

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