Clare Healthcare Assistant Honoured With National Award
Robbie Ball Impress Judges With His #myicarestory
Robbie Ball from Ennis in Co. Clare has been honoured with a national award for his work with Bluebird Care. Robbie was named the national winner of Bluebird Care’s i-CARE awards.
The company asked its 1,500 carers nationwide to tell their personal story of why they chose a career in care. All entrants were asked submit a video, poem or story to depict their #myicarestory. At a high profile event in Dublin, filmed by Irish TV and to be broadcast on Sky later this month, and presented by broadcaster George Hook, Robbie Ball said he was “humbled and shocked” with his win.
“I cannot thank my colleagues in Bluebird Care in Clare enough for their support. They allow me to do my job diligently and passionately. It’s a job I love and one I get great satisfaction from. My care story was told from the perspective of one of my client’s and the difference that I make to his life on a daily basis. As carers we choose to do this job because we get so much back. This award is an acknowledgement of all the great work my colleagues and I do in every part of Ireland. But I am so proud to represent them and Bluebird Care.”
Kay Leahy, Director of Bluebird Care in Clare congratulated Robbie saying, “As Ireland’s population ages and increases, there will be more demands on homecare companies such as ours to provide quality care in the community. Our healthcare assistants spend thousands of hours in hundreds of homes each week, providing necessary and valuable care to ensure that people of all ages and varying degrees of ability remain in their own homes, and continue to participate in their communities.
“Put simply, we wanted to showcase the great work being done by our Healthcare Assistants in every corner of Clare and indeed Ireland. We hear the feedback from our customer’s about how carers go the extra mile and we thought it was time to shine a light on that commitment, passion and compassion shown day in and day out by our staff.
“So this year we made 2015 ‘The Year of the Carer’ and have honoured our healthcare staff in our i-CARE awards. Robbie is a remarkable person and his care story was told with such depth of feeling. We are delighted for him.”
1st Runner Up
2nd Runner Up
Commendation Award Winners
Read our finalists' #myicarestory entries here
View our Award Photos
The external judging panel was made up of:
- Eamon Timmins, CEO Age Action
- Maureen Kavanagh, CEO Active Retirement Ireland
- Stephen Cluskey, Founder GoAccessible365.com
- Susie Hall, Committee Member Alliance of Retired Public Servants
Eamon Timmins described Robbie’s entry as, “a moving and articulate tale of how care changes lives and how the smallest things mean the biggest things for many people who are suffering illness or ability challenges. Robbie is a shining light in the healthcare industry and his story illustrates how important carers are in this country. I, along with my fellow judges would like to congratulate him on his national i-CARE award from Bluebird Care.”
Here is Robbie’s winning #myicarestory
Many years ago one of the most wonderful lady’s I’ve ever known told me that during a normal progression through life one would either end up as a carer or being cared for. At the time I didn’t fully understand what she meant.
My name is Robbie and I work as a Healthcare Assistant with Bluebird Care in Ennis. My calling as a carer literally started with a phone call to the Bluebird Care office saying would I like to come to the office for an interview having recently summited a CV. Little did I know that day while I was making my way to the office that I was about to embark one of the most amazing and rewarding journeys of my life.
After my successful interview I was offered a position with Bluebird Care which I gladly accepted and will always be grateful and may never be able to repay the wealth of knowledge and experience gained. My role at Bluebird Care presently involves caring for, and supporting a male customer with Huntington's disease (HD), which is a neurodegenerative genetic disorder.
To say that he is one of the most extraordinary and gifted people I ever met may be an understatement.
One day I was sitting with him while he was eating his lunch, he suddenly stopped eating and put down his knife and fork and turned in my direction and asked me “why I became a carer?” Before I could answer he just said, “I’m so glad you did” and picked up his knife and fork and continued eating without another word being said.
Later on that day what he had said earlier was still very fresh in my mind and it wouldn’t leave me and I began to reflect on why I really became a carer, and what it means to me. Then mental images came to me and they began to answer what I was asking and I found myself back in his home and came to realise that:
- When he chooses the clothes he wants to wear in the morning and seeing that look of victory in his eyes in his constant battle to remain independent.
- As I tie his shoe laces I try to step into those shoes at times and see the challenges and issues he faces on a daily basis.
- When we laugh and joke we do it together, we share our life experiences and learn things from each other.
- He knows that I accept him for the person that he is and I will never judge him.
- In spite of people’s disabilities they have the same needs and desires as any other person.
- I became over time an extended member of the family without actually knowing it.
- The good days far outnumber the not so good days and the reward just seeing him smile and knowing that he has confidence in me in all the tasks and duties I perform with him.
- I’m not just a carer I am a friend and a companion and at times an advocate.
Even though I work on my own I’m never really alone as I know I have the support of one of the most wonderful and competent team of people back in the Bluebird Care office anyone could ever have the pleasure to be a part of. Knowing that they are only a phone call or a visit away gives me the confidence, ability and strength to give the best care possible because in my roll I’m not only representing myself, Bluebird Care, but I’m also representing them. I’m so proud to say they are my colleagues and friends.
I have fully come to understand now about ending up as a carer or being cared for and what my mother meant all those years ago.