Selfless, dedicated and big-hearted − that’s how those who know carer Linda Cleary would describe her, which is also why she was named the Key Worker (Individual) Champion.
Linda has been Laura McWilliam’s full-time carer for three years, but she really went above and beyond the call of duty during the coronavirus pandemic.
Sacrificing seeing her own family out of fear she might pass along the virus to Laura, Linda looked after the 34-year-old, who has a rare neurological disease, day and night for three months without a break.
Laura said: “Linda has got me from being fully bed-bound into my wheelchair for part of the day and now, for the first time in six years, I’ve been able to go outside.
“She’s helped me through three major operations and always called the wards to keep checking on me when I was too ill to use my phone.”
Linda, from Sheddocksley, said she was really surprised and humbled to win the accolade.
She stated: “If I’m honest, I was shocked I won the award and still am today, but it feels nice to be appreciated by my employer.
“I enjoyed watching all the different awards that were given.”
Evening Express editor Craig Walker said: “Linda’s dedication and selflessness really moved all our judges.
“While many of our nominees’ work has touched the lives of thousands of people, sometimes the impact on one person can be just as profound.”
Mark Shaw, owner and director at Mark Shaw Funeral Services, which sponsored the Key Worker (Individual) category, said: “This was a great event to be involved with and support.
“There are so many individuals and organisations doing amazingly in these difficult times.”