A carer who battled back after suffering Covid-19 to look after older and vulnerable adults in North Yorkshire has become the first recipient of a prestigious new award.
Denise McEvoy, head of Care Services with Harrogate Neighbours, was presented with the John Fisher Award at the regional Great British Care Awards in York last week.
The award was sponsored by care provider organisation the Independent Care Group (ICG) in honour of John Fisher who died from coronavirus last year.
John Fisher was founder and Chairman of the Harrogate-based Fisher Care Group and a much-loved member of the ICG.
In March 2020, Denise made the decision to lockdown one of her registered services before the national lockdown. As Covid lead she reorganised services, navigated round the lack of PPE and supported clients, families and staff.
She later caught the virus herself and became poorly, but she fought back to health and was soon back on the frontline.
ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “Denise is a very worthy winner of the new John Fisher Award.
“She has shown amazing courage and determination to overcome her own battles to keep helping and caring for others and supporting her colleagues.
“She epitomises the amazing self-sacrifice that care workers have shown during the past 16 months in the face of this cruel and indiscriminate pandemic.
“I think John would have recognised Denise’s huge contribution and been delighted that the winner was also from Harrogate – congratulations to her.”
Mike also paid tribute to Mr Fisher. “John’s loss to Covid-19 was a tragic one, to his family and friends and to everyone who knew him, including those in the social care sector,” he said.
“He was a warm, friendly, larger than life character who was great fun to be around and who gave a great deal to the care of people.
“His loss was very deeply felt and we were delighted to be able to launch this annual award in his memory on Wednesday. It will recognise a special contribution to social care. John loved the awards and so it is fitting that through this award he will be a part of them again, every year.”