Outstanding carers and unsung heroes from across the county gathered at Weymouth College for the Dorset Echo Care Awards.

The award ceremony were held in the Hix Academy restaurant and was well attended by representatives from the community.

The Mayor of Weymouth and Portland, Councillor Kevin Brookes, was among those to present an award and spoke highly of the event.

He said: “I am pleased to be here.

“It is great to be involved with this award ceremony.

“It is another opportunity to thank volunteers, unsung heroes, carers and helpers.”

The awards are designed to acknowledge outstanding individuals and businesses in the area who are involved in care.

The ceremony saw a number of health and social care workers presented with certificates, flowers and tickets for Brittany Ferries, in recognition of their achievements.

Aisha Begum, 17, won the Best Under 18 Carer Award, and said it has helped encourage her to become a nurse in the future.

She added: “It is really amazing, I am really thankful.

“I have done two work placements during my time at college, one at Ingleside Residential Home, the second at Dorset County Hospital.

“I want to go into nursing and this is a great start.”

Her mother, Louise Meah, praised Weymouth College for helping to spark Aisha’s interest in care.

She said: “I am so proud of her.

“I just want to say Weymouth College’s health and social care course has done her so much good and has given her an interest in care.”

Dawn Ralph was awarded the Unsung Hero Award by Cllr Brookes.

She said: “It is amazing and very unexpected.

“ I am a foster carer and work with disabled people. My main job is to provide care for children with disabilities.”

Looking at her flowers and certificate, she added: “You don’t expect this, maybe a nomination but not this.”

Jan Millward, who won the Best Social Care Worker Award, said: “It is an achievement for everybody at the Old Vicarage Care Home in Leigh, Sherborne, where I work. I am very pleased and thrilled, this award is a reflection on the whole team.”

Winners of the Dorset Echo Care Awards:

  • Winner of the Best Volunteer/Unpaid Carer - Suze Pasparakis
  • Winner of the Best Home Carer Award - Bev and Harry Isaacs
  • Winner of the Best Care Home Award - Altogether Care, collected by Mandy Bell
  • Winner of the Best Nurse Award - Kate Cartwright
  • Winner of the Best Social Care Worker Award- Jan Millward
  • Winner of the Unsung Hero Award - Dawn Ralph
  • Winner of the Best Care Organisation Award - St Jude’s Care, collected by Sally Andrews
  • Winner of the Best Family Member Carer Award - Carol Ravenhill
  • Winner of the Best Under 18 Carer Award - Aisha Begum