A Harpenden care home has been highly commended in the Covid Heroes Awards.

Carers from Willow Court in Aldwickbury Crescent were recognised at a British Care Awards ceremony for their outstanding work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

They were nominated for an award for the work they did when the home was under lockdown, an extended period during which the residents were unable to receive visitors in the usual way or leave the home.

Home manager Sarah Adlam and her care team came up with a range of different ways to overcome some of the barriers that came with the pandemic, including the Let’s Smile Together project which overcame the difficulties residents had in recognising care staff wearing face masks by ensuring all staff wore large photo badges of themselves smiling.

Herts Advertiser: The Candy Cart Tea Room at Willow Court, Harpenden.The Candy Cart Tea Room at Willow Court, Harpenden. (Image: Willow Court)

Another of their projects was their Candy Cart Tea Room which brought the outside, inside. The team took a room within the home and re-created an outside street café style dining experience for residents who were unable to leave the home because of lockdown.

The staff never stopped and also created the Willow Tree Restaurant and Bespoke Birthday Service which celebrated each resident’s birthday in style, including an à la carte birthday breakfast.

They built an indoor interactive bird sanctuary for residents, created a memory garden and worked hard to continue to deliver a full and meaningful day to the residents in the home. Sarah and her team managed to maintain a real sense of community at Willow Court.

The team won the award at the East of England regional finals of the Great British Care Awards at the East of England Arena in Peterborough.

The judges said: “In some of the toughest times we have known in society this is a truly humbling care home who moved the judges to tears. In times of adversity this team simply shone. We would move in tomorrow!”

Home manager Sarah said: “The whole team are absolutely delighted to have been recognised in this way. They have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to provide the highest standards of care and support to the residents. Their resilience and creativity has been incredible and I am so proud of them all.”