Esther Rantzen presents Scarborough dementia worker with national award

From left: Rebecca Wilcox (Dame Esther's daughter and co-presenter), Hilary Garratt CBE, director of nursing, NHS England, Irene Jervis, dementia worker, Making Space and Dame Esther Rantzen.
From left: Rebecca Wilcox (Dame Esther's daughter and co-presenter), Hilary Garratt CBE, director of nursing, NHS England, Irene Jervis, dementia worker, Making Space and Dame Esther Rantzen.

A Scarborough dementia worker has won a national award.

The judging panel at the Markel Third Sector Care Awards said that Irene Jervis showed “enormous passion and compassion.”

She was presented with the accolade at a gala dinner hosted by Dame Esther Rantzen at the London Marriott Hotel.

A dementia adviser with the North Yorkshire Dementia Support Service, Irene provides practical and emotional support and advice to people with dementia and their families.

The service is operated by national adult health and social care charity Making Space.

Gil Ramsden, head of nursing at NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Groups Partnership and one of the judges said: “Irene has been instrumental in making life easier for those she supports, has consistently shown passion and compassion and wowed the judging panel with her embodiment of serenity and gentleness.

“Irene has demonstrated that the individuals using her service receive a high-quality experience based on relationship-centred care and despite the difficulties they face within their role she maintains unwavering positivity for the people she supports as well as for their families.”

Cath Magee, area manager for Making Space, said: “Irene’s calm and sensitive nature means she can interact with empathy and understanding whilst having the drive, motivation and assertiveness to achieve whatever she sets out to do.

“She is a very worthy winner.”

Irene said: “It feels amazing to get this recognition even though I don’t think what I do is in any way special. It’s just normal to me.

“Having my award presented by Esther Rantzen was very exciting and she even interviewed me on stage for a few minutes before handing it over.

“Access to dementia support is vital for people living with dementia and their carers and families. The right guidance, information and support can help people to stay independent for longer and ensure that carers also take care of themselves.”

Earlier this year, Irene, 54, and members of her Deep Vibes dementia support group threw their weight behind the fight to provide blue badge parking permits to people with unseen disabilities.

As part of her campaign she gave radio interviews, started an online petition and lobbied her MP, Robert Goodwill. In July, it was announced that people living with dementia and their families will be eligible to apply for a blue badge.

North Yorkshire Dementia Support Service operates in Hambleton, Richmond, Whitby, Scarborough, Craven, Ryedale and Filey can be contacted on 01723 371958