Your nominations for the Swindon and Wiltshire Health & Care Awards have been flooding in – and our judges have begun their work on whittling down the shortlist.

From hospital staff on the Covid frontline and carers looking after the most vulnerable in the community to keyworkers and volunteers stoically keeping the country going, we’ve received a deluge of nominations, each more moving and heartfelt than the next.

Over the next few weeks, our judging panel will have the challenging task of assessing each entry and selecting a handful of finalists from a pool of outstanding nominees. Their shortlist in each category will be announced later this month in a special supplement profiling every local hero and healthcare team up for an award, which are presented in partnership with Wasdell Group.

“We have been amazed by the response to the awards and would like to thank everyone who has sent in a nomination,” said Pete Gavan, editor of the Swindon Advertiser, Gazette & Herald and Wiltshire Times. “This has gone far beyond what we could have possibly imagined. We cannot wait to celebrate our finalists’ achievements, selflessness and resilience and give them the recognition they so rightly deserve.

“On a personal note, I have been extremely moved by the stories you have shared with us. The breadth of nominations has really brought home the importance and benefits of coming together as a community in difficult times, whether it be by working on the frontline or ensuring an isolated neighbour doesn’t fall through the net during lockdown.

"Every nominee has made a huge difference to the lives of so many and they’re all winners in my view, regardless of the outcome.”

The latest batch of nominations has been the widest ranging yet.

Among those vying to make the shortlist in the Unsung Hero in the Community category is Rachael Stone, a charity worker who has been supporting mothers struggling with postnatal depression and anxiety throughout the pandemic.

Wiltshire Times: Rachel Stone

Rachael, a project manager at Shine PND Swindon, not only kept the service running during lockdown but redoubled her efforts to help and protect already vulnerable mothers facing increased isolation.

She was nominated by Laura Francis, a mum for whom the charity has been a lifeline.

“Rachael had been working tirelessly all through lockdown to ensure that groups have continued to run where possible and keep all of the mummies and babies safe whilst they access the support they need from Shine,” said Laura.

“Mums, including myself, have felt supported the whole way through these lockdowns and able to express how we’re feeling without judgment. Rachael goes above and beyond every single day to improve the lives of mums who suffer with mental illness. She really is an incredible person for all that she does.”

Also up for a spot in the Care Hero Award shortlist is Eve, who has been providing care and companionship to vulnerable people with a range of conditions, including dementia, in her own home for the past 20 years as part of the Shared Lives Wiltshire Service.

Wiltshire Times: WHA

She was nominated by Shared Lives marketing officer Lauren Castle, who singled her out for her tireless efforts to minimise the impact of lockdown on her two charges, one of whom has been living with her for the past 10 years. Lauren asked to keep Eve’s surname confidential to protect the vulnerable people she supports.

“During Covid, Eve has supported both customers to understand the impact of Covid and what measures they need to take to keep safe,” said Lauren. “Eve has kept all her customers occupied finding activities in the home and garden to do together as well as regular walks with their dogs.

“I hope Eve gets the recognition she deserves. She doesn’t know how amazing she is because Shared Lives just is her life.”

This is your last opportunity to nominate. Go to and tell us about the health and care worker who you think has made the most impact on the lives of those around them.