A DUMBARTON carer has been praised for her “outstanding dedication” at a national awards show.

Courteney Forrester scooped the top prize in the Emerging Talent category at this year’s Meallmore Colleague Awards.

The award recognises staff who are new to the care sector or who have made a real difference since starting their role at Meallmore, a Scottish health and social care provider, as well as those who go above and beyond.

Courteney, who is a team member at Alderwood House, explained she was “overwhelmed” to have won.

She said: “I’m overwhelmed and forever grateful, especially as this job means so much to me. I’ve got a passion for mental health and psychology.

“To win this award means I’m actually helping people and that’s all I want to do. The residents, the home, and all the team have been so amazing.” 

The event has been running for 12 years now and took place at the Dunblane Hydro.

There were around 200 people in attendance on the night from Meallmore’s 26 care homes across Scotland.

Staff were nominated by residents, residents’ families, visiting professionals, and other Meallmore colleagues.

There were over 1,000 submissions this year, which is more than the number received last year.

Cillian Hennessey, managing director of Meallmore, said: “At Meallmore, we’re extremely proud of all our colleagues and their hard work and commitment.

“We regularly see individuals going the extra mile in providing the highest standards of care for our residents and so this awards ceremony is a perfect opportunity to acknowledge them. 

“I would personally like to say a huge thank you to every one of our colleagues at Meallmore, as they each make a real difference in the lives of our residents across Scotland.

“All finalists show exceptional dedication to our company, and the winners are thoroughly well-deserved."

The event was presented by singer and TV personality Michelle McManus who praised each of the winners.

Michelle added: “A huge congratulations goes to all the finalists and winners of the Meallmore Colleague Awards 2023.

“It was amazing to get involved with the award ceremony again this year, as being able to applaud those who work in the care sector is something I love to celebrate.  

“These awards for Meallmore are so important as it’s an opportunity to celebrate the dedication, compassion, and care the team shows to their residents across Scotland.

“Thank you to all at Meallmore for inviting me back to be part of this year’s ceremony.” 

There were prizes up for grabs in 14 categories on the night. Winners received a certificate, trophy, and choice of prize with runners-up receiving a certificate and trophy.