A GROUP of Richmond care workers have been celebrated as ‘Community Heroes’ for assisting people with learning disabilities over the pandemic.

Staff at six residential care services run by charity, United Response, won the Council’s 2020 Dignity in Care award.

The annual prize recognises local care workers and personal assistants who go the extra mile to provide support to residents.

United Response’s care homes on Kneller Road, Mayfair Avenue, Woodland Crescent, Harvey Road, Hanworth Road and Curtis Road were all given the award for their “positive contributions, selfless dedication and commitment to helping others” in response to the Covid outbreak.

Recent figures show that people with Down’s syndrome or profound learning disabilities are more vulnerable to respiratory infections such as Covid-19.

While new data in December highlighted far higher coronavirus death rates among people with learning disabilities than the general population.

United Response says that providing the right support is more important than ever.

The charity runs support services for people with learning disabilities and autism across the Richmond and Kingston area, including Teddington, Twickenham, St Margaret’s, Barnes, Strawberry Hill and Hampton.

It hosts regular activity groups for local people with learning disabilities, such as drama, cooking, gardening and meditation classes.

Current lockdowns and Covid restrictions meant Richmond Borough Council was unable to hold its regular Dignity in Care awards ceremony this year, meaning winners were not presented with their prizes in person.

Instead, the six United Response services received a certificate signed by Cllr Piers Allen, Chair of Adult Social Services, Health and Housing Services Committee, and Liz Bruce, Director of Adult Social Care and Public Health.

Cllr Piers Allen said:

“United Response’s local staff teams have been delivering outstanding care and support in the most difficult of circumstances imaginable. Their dedication and selflessness have been of the highest standard: they are all true Dignity in Care Heroes.”

Mike Crowhurst, United Response’s Director of Operations for the South, added:

“It is clear that truly exceptional work has taken place in Richmond throughout this year, and we are incredibly proud of everyone associated with these six exceptional services – from the dedicated staff working day and night, to the extraordinary people they support. I give my deepest thanks to them all.”

For more information on United Response visit: www.unitedresponse.org.uk or call 0203 727 0602.