Care home housekeeper Tracy Harrison, from Chell Heath, has been praised by her teenage daughter for working hard during the coronavirus pandemic.
Tracy, 46, has been working at The Cedars care home in Holmes Chapel throughout the health crisis despite being on medication for asthma – and has even taken on care shifts due to the increased demand.
Tracy has now been nominated as adult carer of the year in the Our Heroes Awards by her 16-year-old daughter, Emelia Wilshaw.
Emelia has autism and says she has found lockdown ‘tough’ – but that her mum has constantly been there for her.
She said: “My mum doesn’t complain about anything. On her days off she goes shopping for us, and her mum and dad who are in the vulnerable category, and also her sister and niece.
“We are so proud of her and what she does. She doesn’t know how much she means to us. She is a single mum and she provides a lovely home for me and our two dogs. I love her so much.”
Tracy has been in her current role for two years but has been working in a care environment since she was a teenager.
She explained: “I did my NVQ level three when I was 16, so I’ve been doing this since day one. I love giving back. It’s just how I am and it’s normal to me. I’d give someone my last penny.
“I take asthma tablets and Emelia worried about me working, but I just thought the virus either takes me or it doesn’t. I have my mask and my visor and I am going to continue to go to work and help people.
“I’ve definitely shed some tears, even now. In the thick of the pandemic it was taking our residents every single day. They were stuck in their rooms completely isolated and we had to go in in full PPE and it’s so scary for them. They look forward to seeing us and love having conversations – we have built up great relationships with them.
“This whole thing hasn’t felt real, it feels like a dream – but you’ve got to be brave. I come home and change my clothes straightaway and take as many precautions as necessary. It has been tough but I wouldn’t have it any other way – I love my job and I have to stay positive.”
On top of her busy shifts – which will often see her working seven days a week – Tracy has also been shopping for her vulnerable relatives.
She said: “My parents are in their 70s and my mum has had cancer so they are both shielding. I don’t want any harm to come to them.
“A usual day consists of waking up at 5.30am, going to work, coming home, having a bath to clean myself off, eat, then sort out shopping for other people. I don’t stop until I go to sleep at around 10pm.”
Readers who want to make a nomination for the Our Heroes Awards should email firstname.lastname@example.org with Our Heroes in the subject box.