Lizzie James named Hero of the Month at Cherry Tree House

It’s sometimes amazing just how quickly people fit into an existing team, but trainee senior assistant practitioner Lizzie James, did just that at Cherry Tree House in Romiley, Stockport. So much so, that within 3 months of starting work there she has been named ‘Hero of the Month’ at their inaugural awards which launched in May.  

Lizzie only joined Cherry Tree in the second week of lockdown, she was working as a senior carer for another care home who were about to put her on furlough, when she decided to look for a new job. Lizzie who likes to be active said “I just couldn’t see myself sat at home, knowing that most care homes would be struggling for staff.” 

Lizzie James named Hero of the Month at Cherry Tree House
Lizzie James named Hero of the Month at Cherry Tree House

What is also quite unusual about one of her nominations is that it came from a resident’s entire family and they have never actually met her. They formed their opinion of her from daily phone and video calls.

“We can tell just by talking to Lizzie that her friendship with dad is blossoming over the weeks and that Lizzie is taking really good care of him. This whole situation has been so tough on everyone, particularly his wife, but it’s lovely people like Lizzie that go the extra mile and make life that little bit easier.” Said Helen Biggins on behalf of her entire family. 

“What we have to remember is that these families have not seen their parents or grandparents for 3 months now. It is incredibly hard on them, especially for those who know that their parent or grandparent won’t understand why this is a happening because they are living with dementia. Caring for someone properly means you are part of their extended family. More so in the current circumstances when their own families are not allowed to visit.  I just treat our residents as I would any member of my own family.” said Lizzie. 

When asked what she thought about winning this award Lizzie said, “It was nice surprise,  but I’m just one part of a great team, where everyone thinks about what is best for our residents, so I don’t think I’m any more of a hero than they are. Everyone is working really hard, picking up extra shifts and making sure our residents are well looked after.”

Outside of work Lizzie is newly married and lives in Ashton Under Lyne. She loves travelling, walking and gardening.  She started life in retail and progressed to store manager for a fashion retailer before joining the care sector three years ago. “I was looking for a change, to do something where I could make a difference to people’s lives instead of making other people money. Three years later, I joined Cherry Tree House at the toughest moment possible, during a global pandemic and with a CQC ‘requires improvement’ rating. But I love it here. I love dementia care; I love that we can understand our residents and I love the way the team here care for them. CQC are not seeing what I see;  I see a team that are pulling together and going above and beyond.” 

“I chose Lizzie because she has settled into her role and hit the ground running. Her unit manager originally nominated her and when the nomination came in from the family member it was just so heart-warming that it made my decision easy.” Said Val Shaughnessy, home manager.  

“We are seeing more and more examples of people who are making a transition into the care sector because they genuinely want to make a difference to people’s lives. Lizzie is helping to make a big difference to the lives of residents at Cherry Tree House.” Said Jeanne Davies managing director of L&M Healthcare. 

The Hero of the Month awards is a new initiative introduced by L&M Healthcare and is now open across all our homes in North West of England. It is a public award, where members of the public, residents, family members or colleagues can nominate who they think is deserving and the home manager selects the winner. It has been specially set up to recognise the extraordinary efforts that staff are putting into their work throughout the current pandemic. There are also two other awards schemes running which recognise the daily contributions staff are making to the running out their homes; ‘Go the Extra Mile’ GEM awards and Employee of the Month awards.

“We are so proud of all our staff” said Jeanne Davies, managing director of L&M Healthcare, “These are challenging times to work in and staff like Lizzie have really stepped up to the challenge. It’s only right that they should have the recognition they deserve.” 

The Hero of the Month Award nominations close on the 28th of each month, the winner is chosen and will then appear on the company website and Facebook page. If you would like to nominate one of Cherry Tree House’s staff for the award, please contact the home manager.  

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