Halton Borough Council has awarded  a Certificate of Recognition to a one of our longest serving Adult Placement Carers, Sylvia Roberts from Widnes.

She went to The Mayor’s Parlour at Runcorn Town Hall on October 25 to receive the honour.

Adult Placement Carers are people who become a carers in their own home for adults who need support due to age, illness or disability and Halton Borough Council is always looking for new carers to help give primary carers respite.

Originally from Garston, South Liverpool, Sylvia and her husband, owned a small shop serving the local community.

They moved to Runcorn where Sylvia started working as a Care Assistant in the community for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia. This work entailed helping people to wash and dress and generally ensuring their health and wellbeing during her visits.

A decision to move to Widnes in 2001 meant she was unable to continue with the carers work and for a year or so she didn’t work, enjoying a life of retirement.

Following the move to Widnes, Sylvia, an avid reader, noticed an ad at Widnes Library asking for “people who may have a few hours to spare”.

Sylvia rang the number on the advert and following an assessment period started working as an adult placement carer in July 2002.
She recalls that becoming a carer took about nine months.

Checks on her house suitability for those who may have mobility issues, her attitude to others and various visits to her home, some unannounced, were made by an Adult Placement manager to ensure the safety of any adults put into the care system.

Now, some 16 years later, Sylvia is able to support three people at that time in her own home, where they all spend time chatting, laughing and watching TV together with any other family members who are around at the time.

Sylvia said that she receives a lot of satisfaction from this type of work as she wants to be involved in supporting people who wish to remain in the community, there is nothing about the job that she dislikes.

A natural “mother”, Sylvia spends most of Sunday in the kitchen preparing meals for the week, she loves cooking and likes to give people home cooked meals. Fish, chips and peas, hot pots, mince and mash, Jam Cream Roll with custard are favourites with the people she cares for.

Not one to be left behind by the technology revolution, Sylvia has recently undertaken several online training and achieved an online Care Certificate as well as undertaking some continued development training both online and via day courses organised by Halton Borough Council Adult Placement services.

Sylvia does get paid for her care services, which is all tax free. Now in what she terms the prime of her life, Sylvia is considering a second retirement when she reaches 80, but as she says “it all depends on her health.”

Stiofan O’Suillibhan, Divisional Manager of Adult Social Care said “People like Sylvia are very hard to find. Committed to caring for others and a sense of humour are some of Sylvia’s many attributes and we are very lucky that she saw our advert seventeen years ago.”

Halton Borough Council is  looking for more people like Sylvia who can become a carer in their own home for adults who need support due to age, illness or disability.

Full training is provided and once approved the carers position comes with a tax free payment depending on the number of people cared for.

Executive Board Member for  Families, Cllr Tom McInerney, said: “We are now looking towards a time when our adult care service will come under greater pressure due to Halton’s population becoming ever older and demands for our services increase. We need carers to look after people within their own families now more than ever. Feeling part of a family in the carers home is a well known route to keeping them active and in good health.”

For details of the Adult Placement Carers Scheme use this link https://www3.halton.gov.uk/Pages/adultsocialcare/adultplacement.aspx
or call 0151 511 6677.