A Wisbech college apprentice is celebrating after beating more than 400 nominees to be named Apprentice of the Year in a national care awards ceremony.
Carly Walden, who trains at the College of West Anglia (CWA) and works as an apprentice at Kimberley Care Village in Long Sutton, won the prestigious title at The Great British Care Awards.
The 17-year-old was shortlisted as an outstanding support staff member within the care sector, along with three other national candidates, and was invited to London for an interview to decide who the winner would be prior to the awards night.
Miss Walden has a strong focus on nutritional care at Kimberley Care Village, which specialises in elderly care, dementia care and respite.
She helps in the kitchen with dietary plans and assists patients at mealtimes.
Care home manager Nadine Vail, who nominated Carly for the award, said: “I was so happy that I lost my voice from cheering! This is the only recognised awards ceremony in the care sector so is a really big deal. We were up against some big name contenders in the care world, and Carly outshone them all.
“It’s absolutely brilliant and we are all so proud of her. She’s a credit to us!”
Clare Field, Miss Walden’s training and assessment coordinator at CWA, said she was delighted with her achievements.
She added: “Carly’s success really reflects her work ethic. She has only been at Kimberley Care Village for a year and is quite a quiet person and not competitive at all, so to win an award like this is so inspirational for other apprentices at CWA.”
Miss Walden said: “I didn’t expect to win and I don’t think it has really sunk in yet.
“The other contestants were lovely and the whole event is still a bit of a blur from the moment they called my name on stage.”