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Gemma scoops national dementia award

Gemma Hutson, an Activities and Wellbeing Co-ordinator for NorseCare, has won a national title in the National Dementia Care Awards 2020.

Gemma has been awarded the Best Activities Co-ordinator for People Living with Dementia Award for her role at All Hallows, a care home with nursing in Bungay, Suffolk and for her previous role at Lydia Eva Court care home in Gorleston, Norfolk.

She received the title at a virtual awards presentation last week, saying she was ‘blown away’ to have won an award for simply ‘…doing the job I love’.

The awards were created to recognise the very best people working in the dementia care sector whose exceptional work and contributions make better, person-centred care a reality. Winning the title is a real credit to the enormous difference Gemma has made to the lives of those she’s worked with.

Since starting her role three years ago, Gemma has brought to life many ideas and concepts which have seen an increase in wellbeing opportunities for residents. These have included establishing a wishing tree, enabling residents to make a wish for something they remember or really want to happen.

One such wish included a resident wanting to meet up with some bikers, and so Gemma organised 80 motorcyclists to attend the care home, which in turn met another lady’s wish in getting to cuddle with a ‘big strong’ biker!

Gemma has also set up an intergenerational choir which, pre-Covid, brought schoolchildren and residents together. She is often seen wearing costumes at the home bringing smiles and laughter to the residents.

Adam Roberts, Gemma’s manager at All Hallows explained why he thought Gemma deserved the award: “Daily, she provides a fantastic level of specialist care which concentrates on an individual’s wellbeing and sense of community.

“She has actively worked with the local community to encourage support and inclusion and, during the Covid-19 pandemic, her positivity has seen families and children working closely with her to make a positive impact for care home residents.

“We are delighted she has received this national recognition; she is incredibly deserving of this award.”

Gemma said: “I’m so thrilled about this. I love my job – supporting people living with dementia is all about understanding, compassion and inclusion. I always try to be the best I can in my role and to be given a national award is amazing. I’m really, really chuffed.”

The National Dementia Care Awards is an annual event aimed at recognising the work of professional staff working with people with dementia in hospitals, nursing and residential care homes, day units and within the community.

Martin Rix, Chief Operating Officer for NorseCare said: “Gemma’s work is a true example of the huge commitment we see from our staff every day, which has never been more important than during the challenging months we’ve faced throughout the pandemic.

“The whole team is extremely proud of her achievements, and those of her colleagues.”

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