Galway carer wins national Carer of the Year award

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galway daily news carer of the year
Lousie Laheen Duggan from Menlough. Pic: Marc O'Sullivan

Louise Laheen Duggan from Menlough in Galway has been crowned Right at Home’s 2021 Carer of the Year at a special awards ceremony held at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel in Dublin.

Louise was one of six regional finalists in the running for National Carer of the year.

Right at Home was established in 2013 in Dublin and has since opened offices in Wicklow, Kildare, Galway, Mayo/Roscommon and Cork.

The awards celebrate and recognise the work and commitment of care staff who play an instrumental role in their communities, enabling individuals to continue to live independent and happy lives in the comfort of their own homes.

Nominations were sent  by clients, client families, their colleagues, managers, and supervisors who witness first-hand the contribution carers make to the lives of those they care for.

It was up to judges Dr. Sinead Kane, a qualified lawyer and lecturer in disability law and policy and ultra-marathon runner who only has 5% vision, Louis Copeland, tailor to the stars, and Sophie Moran of Ibec to make the tough decision.

The awards ceremony was a welcome celebration following the challenges brought about by COVID -19 which saw carers go above and beyond in their line of duty.

In advance of the winner being announced, judges Dr. Sinead Kane, Louis Copeland and Sophie Moran said that the winner is an outstanding individual who blew us away from the moment we met them with their kindness, passion and dedication.

“They conveyed empathy and respect and enlightened us on what it means to them to be a carer and the importance of building a trusting and transparent relationship.

“They came across as efficient, organised, and reliable. It’s clear that this individual goes above and beyond in their role every day and truly appreciates the duty of care that they have to the community of vulnerable people they serve.”

Expressing her delight at receiving the award as it was announced, Louise Laheen Duggan said: “I can’t quite believe it yet! I am so honoured to receive this award today and couldn’t have done it without the fantastic team behind me at Right at Home, Galway.

“I am passionate about the work I do and I feel very lucky to do something I love every day.

“It is a privilege to be able to support my clients to live a happy life in the comfort of their own home and to build a trusting and respectful relationship with both the client and their families.

“It is so much more than a job, it’s a friendship as well and I look forward to sharing this wonderful news with everyone back in Galway.

“I would like to say a quick thanks to Natalie Crowe, Managing Director of Right at Home Galway for her continued support since I joined Right at Home three years ago, she has built a fantastic team which I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of.”

In recognition of the wider care team, a number of additional awards were also announced on the day. Shola Arajuwa from Dublin and Kathleen McDonnell from Galway both took home awards recognising their commitment to going above and beyond, especially as a result of the difficult circumstances posed by Covid-19.

The Outstanding Achievement Award, recognising the accomplishments of one individual across from the Right at Home team went to Nurse Geraldine Tabb. Finally, The Right at Home office of the year went to Galway.