KELLY Chapman’s latest project is helping each of the residents at Riverside Care Home to plant a sunflower and encouraging them to tend to their own individual flower.

It is just one of the many initiatives that Kelly, who is deputy manager at the Monk Bretton home, has come up with to spread some sunshine of her own for the 49 residents she helps care for.

And that’s just one of the reasons why her manager and colleagues have nominated her for a Proud of Barnsley award in the Carer of the Year category.

Manager Sue Pickersgill said: “The residents think the world of her and the other staff think she’s gold, they love her. She is like our shining star and she is always the one who lifts the mood of the home when she walks in.

“She is always looking for ideas like the sunflower one.”

Sue’s nomination said: “Kelly is an absolute legend she goes above and beyond in her work. She has a totally unselfish attitude to her work. Our residents are respected in the most person-centred compassionate manner.

“She is absolutely second to none, she has achieved so much yet always remains the same. Caring, responsive, energetic, empathetic there are not enough words to describe her passion for care.”

Kelly, 32, started working at Riverside 18 months ago as a senior care assistant on nights, quickly becoming assistant deputy manager and six months ago deputy manager.

Her colleague Danni Kirkland said in her nomination: “Kelly started at Riverside on nights as a senior care assistant and was always helping out doing extra shifts and going the extra mile for all our residents.

“Kelly has worked her way up to deputy and continues to go above and beyond to ensure our residents are safe, well cared for and protected. Kelly looks for new ways to include the residents and looks at different activities that can be included in the home.

“Kelly has recently put together an idea to make a gift for the residents in our care for Mother’s Day so everyone is included and receives something special.

“Kelly works hard at Riverside and nothing is ever too much, I feel Kelly really deserves to be recognised for everything she does for the residents and the staff. She is such a kind, caring person with a heart of gold and deserves to be rewarded further for this.”

Kelly, who is also a long-term foster carer to two children said: “I love what I do. I have been a carer since I was 16 and it’s in my blood.

“I just want the best for those residents and I do whatever I can. I like to come up with ideas on Mother’s Day, each resident got a personalised gift basket so no-one was left out whether they had children or not.

“I always keep smiling as long as you have got a smile on your face, everything’s okay.

“Being nominated for the award was quite a shock but a beautiful shock at that.”