Clare Mankowski reckons it’s her time that is the most important thing that she can offer her clients.

Whether it’s taking them out shopping for a few hours, or sitting with them over breakfast, or spending all day with them.

It’s why she thinks the day she went self-employed was the best decision she ever made – it allowed her to concentrate on giving her small number of ‘ladies’ the time they deserved.

Clare, who has been nominated as one of the care heroes we are paying tribute to in our Health and Social Care Awards, keeps her client list deliberately small.

The mother of two has decided she does not want more than 3 or 4 clients at any time to ensure she can deliver the best care she can.

And that care includes a readiness to go ‘above and beyond’ whenever needed.

Clare, originally from Stourport, had spent seven years with husband Leon in London before they returned to live in Kidderminster and she started work as a carer with a local care provider.

But five years ago she set up on her own as a self employed carer and currently has three clients.

Two of them she used to visit at the care homes where they live, going out on shopping trips or sitting with them and chatting. The pandemic has put a stop to her visits, but she still rings both twice a day to provide friendship and support.

She then has one lady in her 90s who she visits at home 6 days a week.

But she’s been known to drop everything and jump in the car to pop around at all times and on all days after a phone call asking for help.

And not even the snow can beat her. In the recent freeze she walked the two miles to get to her client’s house.

“Nothing stops me, my ladies are my priority.’

Clare offers personal care, manages medication, helps with shopping, and also offers vital companionship.

During the pandemic she has also been a lifeline between client and distant family. She often stays beyond her allotted time without charge, has gone with clients to hospital appointments, and is always available for their calls.

She’s had no more than 2 to 3 days off since the pandemic started. But that is no hardship for Clare: “I absolutely love what I do.”

The Worcestershire Health and Social Care Awards 2021 have been launched by Newsquest, owners of the Kidderminster Shuttle, Bromsgrove Advertiser and Redditch Advertiser, to recognise the talent and dedication of those heroes who work in the industry.

To enter or nominate someone go to: Worcestershire Health & Social Care Awards 2021 | Kidderminster Shuttle