A Burnham-On-Sea care home worker has had his dedication recognised with a prestigious national award, presented from a well-known TV personality.

Shaun Hills, who works for Homes Caring for Autism at their Holly Tree Cottage residential home in Berrow won the Care Home Worker Award in the Great British Care Awards.

He was presented with his trophy by Martin Kemp, the Spandau Ballet musician and EastEnders actor, at a ceremony at the International Conference Centre in Birmingham.

Richard Smith, the founder and managing director of Homes Caring for Autism, which has its head office in Weston-super-Mare, said: “This award recognises the significant role of the care home worker in consistently providing a high-quality standard, for people living in residential care, and it provides well-deserved recognition of the commitment that Shaun has shown to the people he supports.”

“It is particularly fitting that Shaun was nominated by the mother of a young autistic man whom he has cared for over the past eight years. An enormous difference can be made to autistic people with a learning disability by understanding their needs, and enabling them to reach their full potential, and it is through workers like Shaun that we are able to make such a difference in our homes.”

Shaun, who is 27 years of age, started working with HCA as a support worker in May 2009. He became a shift leader in February 2013 and a senior support worker in July 2015.

The mother who put Shaun forward for the Care Home Worker Award in the Great British Care Award said in her nomination: “Shaun has been my son’s care and key worker for the last eight years, starting as a support worker. Over those eight years I have seen Shaun’s ongoing commitment to caring not just to my son but to all the individuals in his care. I sometimes feel he knows my son better than myself, his understanding of his needs which can sometimes be very challenging is always obvious.”

“His communication is excellent, always ensuring that I am aware of any changes, often reassuring if there any worrying aspects of my son’s health. His attention to detail ensures that any changes are dealt with correctly thus ensuring my son is always treated with dignity and respect.”

“He knows exactly how to work with him and to obtain the best from him. He is a good team worker and his personal development has enabled him to be promoted to a Senior Care Worker, a position he thoroughly deserves. I feel very lucky that my son has Shaun as his keyworker and I would love to see Shaun’s hard work and commitment awarded.”

Homes Caring for Autism was founded in 2004 by Richard Smith when he re-mortgaged his home and took out a bank loan to pay for the company’s first property in Berrow, Somerset, in response to the lack of opportunities available for people who are autistic with an associated learning disability.

Pictured: Left to right: Steve Walls (GBCA Host and compère), Professor Martin Green OBE (Chief Executive, Care England), Shaun Hills, Martin Kemp (musician and actor)