It's not long now until we find out the winners of the 2021 Worcestershire Health & Social are Awards.

We launched the awards - in conjunction with the University of Worcester - earlier this year to shine a light on the fantastic work this sector has done throughout the pandemic and every other day to care for us all.

The winner will be announced in a celebrity-backed virtual awards ceremony on Thursday, May 27 - to be broadcast on Facebook.

Today we are meeting the three finalists in the Dementia Carer Award category, kindly sponsored by Crossroads - Caring for Carers.

Helen O'Driscoll

Helen O Driscoll

Helen O' Driscoll

Helen O`Driscoll is an activities coordinator and carer at Sanctuary Care`s Breme Residential Care Home in Bromsgrove.

She is devoted to enriching the lives of her residents, especially those living with dementia.

She spends hours of her own time preparing experiences for them to enjoy, even coming in on her days off to do things to bring them joy.

Helen has been described as a breath of fresh air with outstanding dedication to her residents.

The way Helen has supported her residents during the pandemic has been truly inspirational.

Regional manager Jo Butler said: "Helen nurtures each resident and has a way of making them feel they are the only person in the room when they are talking."

On discovering she made the finals, she said: “It is overwhelming and I’m very proud – it is a team effort here at Breme. I was so surprised, I wasn’t expecting it as I just feel I am doing my job.”

Rebecca Archer

Rebecca Archer

Rebecca Archer

Rebecca Archer has been a strong member of the activities team at Brook Court Care Home for three years, specialising on the dementia unit.

Rebecca is highly spoken about and well known by residents, staff, visitors and relatives.

Throughout her time on the dementia unit, she has really focused on each resident as an individual, really catering to their needs and ensuring everything is put in place to do so, including Amazon shopping with her own wages.

Throughout the pandemic, Rebecca has been helping out as much as she can for the home; she has worked both 12 hour night and day shifts on care, emotionally supporting residents, staff and relatives

Rebecca Archer said: "I am completely overwhelmed and humbled by this. It has come as a complete shock and I feel honoured to be able to work with people living with dementia and help to enable them to live a meaningful and fulfilling life."

Karen Hancox

Karen Hancox

Karen Hancox

Karen Hancox is the manager of Elliot House residential care home in Birmingham and has been recognised for going above and beyond for residents.

The residents of the care home are living with dementia and Karen has been praised for keeping them safe and throughout the pandemic.

She has been described as a selfless and dedicated person who "always gives her life to residents and staff."

She also had a visitor pod built for family members of residents to allow then to visit their loved ones during the pandemic.

Amy Smith, who nominated Karen, said: "She is the care home manger and went above and beyond to keep them safe.

"This person gave her everything to her residents throughout the lockdown and still now. She is just an amazing person."