WINNERS of the Daily Echo Proud to Care Awards 2018 were revealed at a ceremony in Bournemouth.

Finalists were joined by friends, family and colleagues at the Marsham Court Hotel on Thursday for the second annual awards, which celebrate the work and commitment of these unsung heroes.

Those nominated in each of the 13 categories ranged from volunteers who enrich the lives of residents, to those who run some of the best care homes in the area – one thing they all had in common was the difference they make to so many lives on a daily basis.

Hosting the event, run in partnership with Bournemouth Borough Council and Borough of Poole, Daily Echo editor Andy Martin thanked the finalists for their “dedication, effort, care and for simply being very special”.

The awards were judged by Andy, together with Dee Swinton of Dorset Mind.

“Not only does Dee work for a very caring organisation, she also has years of experience looking after her mother, both at home and when she required the support of a nursing home.

“Can I just say how difficult it was to choose between all the fantastic nominations we received,” Andy said as he opened the awards.

As each of the award categories were announced, the finalists were introduced and excerpts from their nominations were shared. Some moving and inspirational stories were heard, and Andy reiterated to the audience just how difficult it was to pick the winners, particularly for categories such as Young Carer of the Year, which included nominee seven-year-old Abbie Grounsell.

Overall winners were then invited to receive their trophies from the generous sponsors who backed the event.

Care Home Worker of the Year was Madeleine Fryer, of Care South's Templeman House, and Care Home of the Year went to The Laurels. The award was collected by Jennifer McDermott and Georgina Hall.

Care Dynamics was awarded Home Care Provider of the Year, while Home Care Worker of the Year went to Diane Redfern of Pramacare.

Dementia Care Worker of the Year was Lara Leighton, of Luxurycare, and 17-year-old twins Isabel and Ryu Phillips received the Young Carer of the Year award. Palliative Care Worker of the Year was Julie Attwater, from Royal Bournemouth Hospital, Julie Brownsea, of Avon View, was named Volunteer Care Worker of the Year, and the New Professional Care Worker award went to Molly Munday of Primrose Lodge.

Vivian Charters was named Family Carer of the Year and Learning Disability Care Worker of the Year was Hazel Noyon of Victoria Education Centre.

The Special Recognition Award was presented to Suzie Woffindale, and Apprentice of the Year was awarded to Amy Brewer-Smith of Good Oaks.

The runner-ups received certificates and everyone shortlisted for an award was given a family pass for the Sea Life Centre in Weymouth.

n See Wednesday’s Daily Echo for the winners’ supplement.