Big-hearted Wigan mum and son win awards for palliative and end-of-life care

A mum and son who make up the wellbeing team at a Wigan care home have been honoured for their exceptional work.
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Ann Marie Roberts and Ashley Smith have been talking about how they make a difference at HC-One’s Ashton View care home in Ashton-in-Makerfield after receiving prizes at the Wigan Borough Palliative and End of Life Care Awards.

Ann Marie had worked there for two years before Ashley came on board. She first took on domestic and kitchen duties, before moving over to her role as wellbeing coordinator.

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Ann Marie Roberts and Ashley Smith outside Ashton ViewAnn Marie Roberts and Ashley Smith outside Ashton View
Ann Marie Roberts and Ashley Smith outside Ashton View
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Sarah Smith, home administrator at Ashton View (and Ashley’s wife) recommended and prompted Ashley to apply for a wellbeing coordinator vacancy, as she felt he would make a difference in the roleand now mother and son have been working alongside each other for the last 18 months.

Ann Marie said: “Although it seems like a small amount of time working together, our hard work and commitment to the roles has promoted our residents’ wellbeing in a huge way.”

An example of just how much Ashley and Ann Marie do to “make a difference” (National Make a Difference Day falls on Saturday October 28) is their determination and willingness to succeed in the role by providing everyday activities, from entertainment to trips out, and planning their yearly residents weekend trip to Blackpool.

They even perform live to residents, with Ashley singing songs, which are very popular.

Ann Marie Roberts and Ashley Smith with their certificatesAnn Marie Roberts and Ashley Smith with their certificates
Ann Marie Roberts and Ashley Smith with their certificates
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The feedback that they received from both residents, relatives and colleagues has been outstanding and this led to their winning the Patient/Resident/Family Nominated Award at the recent Wigan ceremony.

Ashton View resident Kathleen Gaskell said: “Ashley and Ann Marie work really hard in looking after us, there’s always activities to do, nothing’s too much trouble for them. We also love it when different events are on and especially when Ashley sings, it's like having Tom Jones on your doorstep!”

The duo say that they work well together because they can work round each other, understand residents’ needs, as well as each other’s. They say that they believe and trust each other's capability and work well when sharing creative ideas.

Ashley said: “We both enjoy working at Ashton View as we feel that our role is so important within the home and makes a massive difference to our residents’ wellbeing. Each day is different at our home, but one thing that stays the same is that we’re a big family, and we look after each other as we would look after one of our own.”

Deputy manager Theresa Emons said:

“Ann Marie and Ashley are a credit to the Ashton View team; they continuously work hard in organising events and delivering high standards in the wellbeing role.

"Not only do they ensure that the residents within our care have the opportunity to do activities that they enjoy, but they also continually work alongside other organisations and the local community to continue to promote the wellbeing of our residents and ensure the activities they do provide have a positive impact on the residents’ wellbeing.

“They are setting the standards for care settings around the Wigan borough. The award just signifies the hard work that they both do and the positive impact this has on the residents within our care. The Home Manager Laura Aspin and I are immensely proud of them both.”

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