She is only 17 years old, but Nell Matthews is already a hero in the eyes of those she works for and with in Matlock.
For Nell, who is a health and social care apprentice, won one of the major accolades at the Darley Dale Community Awards of 2019.
The Health and Care Hero Award recognised the dedication and commitment she gives to her role at Ivonbrook Care Home in Darley Bridge.
It also celebrated her enthusiasm and excellence while at work at the Eversleigh Rise home, which is privately owned by Ivonbrook Properties.
Nell said: “I am grateful just to have been nominated for this award, let alone win it.
“I didn’t always have the best time at school, but I’ve never let it hold me back.
“With my apprenticeship, I am learning on the job, gaining valuable work-experience, while working towards a well-recognised qualification at the same time.”
That qualification is health and social care level two, and Nell has gone from strength to strength since she started her apprenticeship.
She has been learning alongside the home’s experienced carers, discovering how to provide the best care service possible.
When she attended the glittering awards ceremony, she enjoyed a much-deserved night of celebration.
So what is the secret to her success? Nell added: “Working in care is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.
“For me, caring is about helping the residents maintain their dignity and independence.
“It can be emotionally draining at times, but it is still a great feeling to be able to help someone in need.”
An independent, purpose-built residential care home, Ivonbrook has been open since 1995 and sits in its own grounds on the edge of Ivonbrook Woods.
It offers personal or nursing care for up to 40 elderly residents, many of whom live in rooms with delightful views of the home’s garden and also its surrounding woodland, which is home to a herd of deer.
At its latest Care Quality Commission inspection in January, Ivonbrook was rated ‘Good’.