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Linda Smailes, Clare Hedge and Sue Faulkner

Linda Smailes, an activity organiser at Wing-based residential home, Carey Lodge, has earned national recognition as runner up in The Carer magazine’s Unsung Hero competition.

The annual contest recognises those working in the care sector who consistently go the extra mile and are committed to helping others.

73-year-old Linda lives in Aylesbury and became a volunteer at Carey Lodge, run by local care provider and charity The Fremantle Trust, in 2009 when her mum was a resident there.

Linda has gone on to be an employee at the care home and was secretly nominated for the industry award by Sue Faulkner, community and lifestyle manager at the Trust.

Described as ‘having the energy of a 33 year old’ Linda plays an instrumental role running activity sessions, organising and accompanying residents on outings and managing seasonal events as part of the full calendar of activities at the care home. She radiates warmth and enthusiasm, which is a critical aspect of the culture and sense of community spirit at Carey Lodge.

Commenting on the accolade, Linda said:

It’s wonderful to be recognised in this way - it makes me feel very proud and humble. I had no idea I was even nominated so it has been a massive shock but a fabulous surprise!

Clare Hedge, manager of Carey Lodge, added:

Linda is a really valued member of our team. She always brings a smile and is empathetic and caring, which makes her without a doubt our Unsung Hero!