Ely Hero Awards 2019: Meet Caring Companion award winner and finalists

Ely Hero Awards 2019 Caring Companion award winner Priscilla Free. Picture: HARRY RUTTER

Ely Hero Awards 2019 Caring Companion award winner Priscilla Free. Picture: HARRY RUTTER - Credit: Archant

“A heart-warming category - a true caring companion is light in darkness, and an anchor in the storm that life can bring.”

The judges said: "We have seen nominations from care workers, volunteers and Family Members who dedicate their time and resources to provide friendship, practical care and support to people in our community."

This year's winner, sponsored by Lovewell Blake, was Priscilla Free.

Meet the winner

Priscilla Free

Priscilla is no stranger to difficulties in her own life, spending many years caring for her own seriously ill daughter whilst raising her family as a single parent juggling several jobs.

Much of Priscilla's working life was with young and gifted children who were deaf and disabled where she was a much-loved member of staff for 20 years.

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Following her retirement, Priscilla cared for her terminally ill mother, she regularly fundraises with "Ely Sing Choirs" for charities such as Arthur Rank Hospital and still supports her daughter Emma with her disability.

Christina Underwood

Caring for patients in their own homes, Christina has become like a member of the family to many. Christina's quiet approach coupled with her compassion and empathy blends perfectly into a family's home, she is acutely aware of the traumatic experiences a family can have experienced and is conscious of not intruding in their home. As well as her care work, Christina works for a local Charity, Pos+ability "Christina empathises, is caring, she is a great asset, totally reliable, totally enthusiastic and always puts the client first" says Linda Neate, Chair of Pos+ability.

Ian Hitch

Ian gave up work in 2017 to care for his mother Janet who suffers from Alzheimer's Disease.

The stability of Janet's condition is attributed to the unconditional care Ian provides for her.

Ian has suffered from serious health conditions himself that have required treatment, despite this he remains constant in the care of Janet.

Ian's nominator says "Ian provides us all with a lesson - continue to interact and engage with others, this interaction reduces feeling of isolation and can lead to many friendships, peer support and possibly recovery."

Content taken from the Ely Hero Awards brochure 2019 with thanks to Metro Rod Cambridge and Infiniti Graphics.