A care home worker from Balquhidder House in Alexandria has been announced as the winner of a top award at a ceremony celebrating the best of the independent care home sector.

Sarah Dickson, who represented the Activities Team at Balquhidder House, Alexandria, won the the Meaningful Activity category at the Scottish Care Awards earlier this month.

She received the accolade at a ceremony in the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow, which was attended by over 650 people and hosted by Michelle McManus.

Sarah and her team were delighted to have been recognised and she said: “I am very surprised but thrilled and honoured.”

The award celebrates the ability to provide an exceptional range of services and add to the quality of care and life for residents.

And Balquhidder director Joan McGregor, who nominated Sarah, told the Reporter: “We are keen that activities are delivered in such a way as to add value to the residents’ day.

“Thanks to Sarah and her team we have built links to the local primary school who now visit twice weekly. The links were so strong that through the summer some of the children requested if they could visit and this was accommodated and their mums and dads came along to see how they interacted. Our residents are now invited to the school assembly to see the children in action.

“We also have a coming home for Sunday lunch initiative, where on a rotational basis residents invite seven family members, choose the menu, make the invites, send them out and host the table with the help of activities, care and kitchen staff. This gives back to the resident their ‘head of the family’ place.”

There are over 202,000 people employed in the care sector in Scotland and hundreds of nominations were received for the awards before the creme de la creme were selected as winners.

Host Michelle described recognising these individuals at the ceremony is "always one of the highlights of my year".

She added: "It is an emotional night where we get to see the very best of the care sector in Scotland and it is an honour to meet these truly deserving individuals and teams. The care home workforce in Scotland deserves to be celebrated and I wish to heartily congratulate all the 2018 finalists and winners.”