Two carers who “go above and beyond” to support people wishing to remain living independently in their own homes have received awards.

Dan McDowell and Julie Brick were recently named as Carers of the Year by Huddersfield-based home care company, Caremark (Kirklees).

The pair were selected from the 61 staff who currently work for Caremark, which provides 1,300 hours of care each week to people living across the Kirklees area.

Dan, 52, said he was shocked when he discovered he had been named Carer of the Year, having only started working with Caremark 18 months ago.

He said: “I used to work in IT but after being made redundant I wanted to try something different and having experienced being a carer in a personal capacity, I thought it would be good to make this a full-time profession.

“I think having a bit more life experience has helped me because I can relate to the people we are providing care for and you can make a real difference to people’s lives.

“I see lots of other carers doing just a good as job as me, but to be recognised in this way is fantastic.”

Caremark (Kirklees) Care Manager Leah Gledhill said: “Dan is the most caring carer I have ever met in professional career, often going above and beyond for the people we care for.

“Time is no object to him, and his all focus is around delivering person-centred care.”

Julie, 35, was named Senior Carer of the Year, an award given to staff who, as well as providing care in the community, also support the head office team at Armitage Bridge.

She said: “I was gobsmacked when I was told about the award; it wasn’t something I was expecting at all.

The mum-of-three said: “My life revolves around care. Leaving someone with a smile on their face after you have been in their home means everything; you just can’t beat that.”

Leah said: “Julie can’t do enough to help people and when she is working at head office, she is always one of the first to volunteer to do a care call when cover is needed at short notice.

“She puts her heart into everything she does and is a credit to the company.”

Caremark Managing Director Duncan Smith said: “This is the second year we have had a carer of the year award, and it was difficult to single out two people because we have a fantastic staff team who all contribute to our success.

“We felt Dan and Julie were particularly deserving of recognition for their work in 2018; they both typify what excellent care looks like.”