Damanpreet Kaur has won Caregiver of the Year in the 2021 Ryman Awards.
As a caregiver working in the hospital unit at Bob Owens Retirement Village in Tauranga, she was cited for showing outstanding support, compassion, and kindness for both her colleagues and the residents that she looks after daily.
Supported watching from home with family, colleagues, and friends, Damanpreet was announced as this year’s winner, with her reaction of complete surprise and shock delighting the award hosts, tv presenters Hilary Barry and Laura Daniel.
“I was nervously excited. I had no idea that I would win, I was in the finals, but didn’t think I would win!” she says.
When Damanpreet Kaur first heard about the new Ryman village in Tauranga, it was from a friend who worked there, and she had said that it was “the place you wanted to work.”
“One of my husband’s friends’ wives worked there and she said management was fantastic, and that there was a good team, so I wanted to work there too!”
Damanpreet applied, starting as a caregiver there in 2013.
Fast forward eight years and Damanpreet is still at Bob Owens, and last week took out the company wide prize at the 2021 Ryman Awards. The awards extend across all 44 operational villages in New Zealand and Australia.
She was nominated by her colleagues, and management who say her contribution to both Bob Owens and Ryman is outstanding.
“She is a real genuine soul, a kind caring and empathetic carer who takes pride in her work,” said one nominee.
Damanpreet works across all aspects of daily life for residents. She does everything from serving meals, helping with daily tasks, cleaning up, dressing to proving company and companionship.
Damanpreet Kaur celebrating her win!
“All her colleagues respect her for her endless kindness, teamwork, support and find her a real pleasure to work with. Our residents I am sure benefit from her kind heart, compassion, and dedication to her role,” said another nominee.
Damanpreet says the favourite part about her day is having a chat with the people she cares for, and helping them with the little things that they like to do.
“We have beautiful gardens here and I take them outside and walk with them, sometimes just for company,” she says.
“In the seven years that I have worked at Bob Owens, I have just seen her go from strength to strength, says Village Manager Brian Bark.
“Her kindness, empathy, shines through and she is highly respected by her team. The day after she won, the kitchen put on a big spread to celebrate her win.
“Daman works with a high performing team and a great bunch of staff, however she shines through as being someone who constantly gets good feedback and praise.”