Christmas is a time for family, for tradition and celebration. At CarePlanner we have a tradition of our own: the 12 Carers of Christmas is about celebrating home carers for the amazing work they do year round. While health care is about keeping people alive, social care is about keeping people living their best lives. Our 12 carers are uplifting examples of the power and purpose of home care, and show how critical and valuable a service it is for all of our communities.

“Kathryn is one of those rare gems that come along once in a lifetime: no matter what life throws at her she continues to work hard, never complaining and always there with a smile.”

Those are the words of Andrea Blackmore, an old colleague of our tenth carer of Christmas, Kathryn Ashton-Hillier.

Like many others, Kathryn hasn’t had an easy 2021. Her mum was diagnosed with breast cancer, and Kathryn has supported her through two operations and continuing treatment. Alongside that, Kathryn has a new baby, and yet maintains her cool in a demanding job without missing a single working day at Care in Your Home.

On top of all of that, Kathryn has sought to improve her own knowledge and qualifications, and recently passed her Level 4 QCF.

With all that going on, you’d expect Kathryn to be a head-down, get-on-with-the-job sort of person. Far from it: at every opportunity Kathryn is looking out for other team members, mentoring and guiding them:

“All her peers admire her, and all her clients adore her,” says Andrea.

Just this once, we’d like to turn the tables on Kathryn and let her have her moment of recognition, a moment when she can be reminded of all the love she brings and the good she does. And how much that is valued by her family, colleagues, and those whom she supports.

“She deserves this,” says Andrea, “she is always thinking of everyone else first and never herself. She is one in a million and I am glad to call her my friend, so just this once Kathryn needs to shine the brightest and be the star.”

Read about our other carers of Christmas here.