Chantal Nicolaou

Live-in carer with Oxford Aunts

Chantal Nicolaou

Chantal Nicolaou

She said: “The news of my nomination was a wonderful surprise. Being shortlisted brought me to tears.

“My time with my client last year was a surreal experience. On the one hand, we faced the terrible pandemic but once inside my client’s home, I made sure every moment was special for her.

“We became great friends and shared many stories of our travels, while enjoying the sounds and sights of her lovely garden.

“Her zest for life inspired me to stay positive in very trying times.”

She was nominated by Oxford Aunts head of business development & client services, Shila Odedra-Silvera, who said: “Chantal Nicolau has shown an untiring commitment to her client during the first wave of the pandemic.

“Chantal lived with her as her carer from January 12 to November 16 showing excellent spirit and a ‘can do’ attitude when return flights to South Africa were repeatedly cancelled.

“When lockdown commenced, cleaners and break cover carers were stopped from visiting to prevent the spread of infection. Chantal accepted this with a good heart, completing cleaning tasks herself and staying at home during break times.”

Kelly Denham

Domiciliary carer with The Orders of St John Care Trust in Witney

She said: “I was very shocked to find out that my oldest daughter had nominated me for this. Caring is very close to my heart as I myself was a young carer for my own father, who had Parkinson’s disease and MS, then was later diagnosed with vascular dementia. He sadly passed away three years ago. It was something I wanted to do after I lost him and caring is what I love doing.”

She was nominated by her daughter Holly West-Mobey, who said: “She has worked night shifts throughout the whole of the pandemic and has gone above and beyond for all of her residents because it’s what she does best.

“She has had to battle her own mental health alongside this but has never let it get in the way at work.

“She has made sure her team and residents come through these tough times.”

Zhara Strafford

Senior home carer with Helping Hands in Wantage

Zhara Stratford

Zhara Stratford

She said: “I had no clue I had been nominated. It was a bit of a shock. The team is amazing. They are so keen to learn and we all learn together. It’s crazy how much your team can make you progress.”

She was nominated by her colleague Chloe Clarkson, who said: “Zhara shows such passion in her care. She showed really good communication skills and also showed us how well she actually cares.

“She picks up shifts and hours needed and is always keen to learn new things. Our customers and families adore her, she always has a smile on her face.

“Zhara has a exceptional person centred approach to everything she does. And she also shows how much she is willing to learn and progress.

“She became senior because of the care and communication she does.”