A TROON woman has been recognised at a prestigious award ceremony for her influential role in care after the death of her husband.

Jessie Warnant, who is 91 years old, attends Mears Belhaven Day Centre in Troon which she said helped her during the lowest point of her life. She has since been described as an "inspiration" for her outstanding work in the care industry which involves promoting how having social company really benefits mental health and wellbeing in older age.

Jessie collected her unexpected award, Outstanding Achievement: Older People category at the Scottish Care Awards on May 17 at the Marriott Hotel in Glasgow. The Awards were hosted by Michelle McManus, with nearly 400 people attending.

The award celebrates the lives of individuals and their continued achievements whilst being supported by independent care services, whether they have overcome difficulties, tried something new, accomplished something they didn’t think they could or taken steps to enhance their lives or those of others in the community.

Jessie said on her achievement: “I couldn't believe it, it was amazing. Everybody was just so friendly. I had a great nights entertainment at 91 and a half I couldn't believe it, I’m still in shock! And to see Michelle McManus that was great too. The whole night was just perfect.”

Lynn Skedd, Mears Belhaven Day Centre Manager, who nominated Jessie, said: “Jessie is, in one word, an inspiration. In 2018, she attended a showcase event in Glasgow to take part in a presentation describing what the day centre meant to her. Despite being very nervous beforehand, she absolutely stole the show, giving a heartwarming talk about how it had helped her through the toughest period of her life.

“She described how low she had become since the passing of her dear husband Joe. Despite previously wearing makeup every day, she had stopped after his death as she felt there was no longer a point. I will never forget the day we arrived to pick her up for the day centre and she opened the door with her best clothes on, her makeup done and the biggest smile I’d ever seen. That image will never leave me as long as I live.

“She is the most loving, caring, kind person I have ever met. She inspires us so much and there are no words to describe how deeply proud staff are of her. She leaves a real imprint not only on their lives but on every single person she comes into contact with.”

The awards have been hailed a huge success in recognising individuals, teams and companies, who are delivering care at an incredibly high standard in an era of challenging budgets and within an increasingly demanding work environment.