Caring Mark through to national finals

A Cheltenham CAREGiver who goes the extra mile has been nominated for a national award for his outstanding services to the home care sector. Mark Benson is one of only five finalists who are in the running for at-home care company Home Instead’s national ‘CAREGiver of the Year’ award. 

Mark, 63, began working as a caregiver in January 2016. Having originally trained and worked as a chef, followed by a career in sales and then long distance driving, Mark never imagined he would become the enthusiastic and dedicated CAREGiver he is today. A naturally caring person, Mark has not only had a major impact on the lives of those people he has cared for but has also taken on the role of senior caregiver, supporting the office team and other CAREGivers out in the community.

A fellow CAREGiver said, "Mark is very diligent, and he will always go the extra mile, making clients' lives more enriched.”

When one of his clients lost their sight, Mark was able to adapt the way he delivered care, using plants and flowers to stimulate his clients’ senses, which provided endless joy to the client and his family. Another of Mark’s clients had been a keen fisherman, but had lost interest in both fishing and food. Mark invested his own time and his skills to catch and cook a fresh trout for his client so he would have a healthy nutritious dinner, sparking fond memories for his client and lots for them to talk about.

Mark was put forward for the award by owner of Home Instead Cheltenham and Cotswolds, Amanda Hamer. In nominating him, Amanda said, “Mark is a wonderful CAREGiver, and recognises each and every client as an individual with a rich history and unique personality. He understands the best way to provide quality care is to understand the needs, wants and wishes of the client and who they are as a person, not just the person we see immediately.”

She continued, “Although many of the people Mark has supported have complex conditions and needs, he is never phased and always proactive in his approach. Mark's response is to research these complex conditions in his own time to develop a better understanding and in turn help him to better support his clients. The real key to Mark's approach however is his gentle humour. This not only puts his clients and their families at ease, it also makes him a terrific coach and role model for other CAREGivers.”

Home Instead employs over 9000 caregivers across its 190 UK offices. Each office is independently owned and operated and all offices were invited to nominate one outstanding CAREGiver from their team. The overall winner will be announced in November.