Un­sung hero Sylvia hailed for her care

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Front Page - BY OLIVER CLAY oliver.clay@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @Oliv­erClayRWWN

ABIG-HEARTED un­sung hero from Widnes who has ded­i­cated what could have been her re­tire­ment to look­ing af­ter oth­ers in her own home has re­ceived an award to hon­our her ser­vice.

Sylvia Roberts, 76, re­ceived a ‘cer­tifi­cate of recog­ni­tion’ from Hal­ton’s mayor and may­oress John and Mar­jorie Brad­shaw in a cer­e­mony in the mayor’s par­lour at Run­corn Town Hall in recog­ni­tion of her work as an adult place­ment carer.

Orig­i­nally from Garston, Sylvia and her hus­band owned a small shop but moved to Run­corn where Sylvia started work­ing as a care as­sis­tant for res­i­dents with Alzheimer’s and de­men­tia. This in­volved help­ing them to wash and dress and gen­er­ally look­ing out for their health and well­be­ing dur­ing home vis­its.

A move to Widnes in 2001 meant she was un­able to con­tinue, and for a year or so she did not work, en­joy­ing a life of re­tire­ment.

Fol­low­ing the move, Sylvia, an avid reader, no­ticed an ad at Widnes Li­brary ask­ing for ‘peo­ple who may have a few hours to spare’.

Sylvia rang the num­ber and soon be­gan work­ing as an adult place­ment carer in July 2002, with the process tak­ing about nine months and in­volv­ing checks to make sure her home was suit­able.

The work in­volves look­ing af­ter adults who need sup­port due to age, ill­ness or dis­abil­ity – in her own home.

Six­teen years later, Sylvia can sup­port three peo­ple at a time in her own home, where they ● Sylvia with Cllrs John and Mar­jorie Brad­shaw spend time chat­ting, laugh­ing and watch­ing TV to­gether with any other fam­ily mem­bers who are around.

Sylvia said that she re­ceives a lot of sat­is­fac­tion from the work and there is noth­ing about the job that she dis­likes.

A nat­u­ral ‘mother’, Sylvia spends most of Sun­day in the kitchen pre­par­ing meals for the week, she loves cook­ing and likes to give peo­ple home cooked meals.

Fish, chips and peas, hot­pots, mince and mash, jam cream roll with custard are favourites.

She is paid tax free, but is now con­sid­er­ing a sec­ond re­tire­ment as she nears her 80th birth­day – but said ‘it all de­pends on her health’.

Stio­fan O’Suil­lib­han, adult so­cial care di­vi­sional man­ager, said “Peo­ple like Sylvia are very hard to find.

“Com­mit­ted to car­ing for oth­ers and a sense of hu­mour are some of Sylvia’s many at­tributes and we are very lucky that she saw our ad­vert 17 years ago.”

Cllr Tom McIn­er­ney (fami- lies) said: “We need car­ers to look af­ter peo­ple within their own fam­i­lies now more than ever. ‘‘

For all en­quiries call Hal­ton coun­cil on 0151 511 6677.

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