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A festive thank you to care workers for making a difference every day!

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More than 3,500 care workers across Oxfordshire are making a 'difference every day' as they work over Christmas and New Year, supporting the most frail and vulnerable people in our communities.

The people they support - whether at home, in residential care or in a community hospital - value the work of professional carers, especially around Christmas time.

Pat Ford from Bicester, relies on care workers Jane Hickling and Chloe Mclinden from Bicester PA and Care for personal support because she has dementia.

Her daughter Suzie says: "Chloe and Jane do a great job for mum. We all appreciate the fact that they will be working on Christmas Day to make sure mum gets the help she needs. They really do make a difference and allow mum to carry on living comfortably and safely at home. We want to say a big thank you to them and to all the care workers who will be on duty over Christmas."

Care worker Chloe says: "Christmas Day is a special day, but the work we do makes a difference every day, and the job we do is really worthwhile."

At Cleeve Lodge Care Home, in Goring, South Oxfordshire, residents say: "The care workers here at Cleeve Lodge (pictured) make a difference to our lives every day and at Christmas we are looking forward to a day of full of fun, friends, food and happiness. Thanks to all of them."

Care home manger Penny Luckett said: "My colleagues and I get the most wonderful job satisfaction of providing a special day in a home from home for people who would otherwise be alone. It is the true meaning of Christmas."

Social care and health services in Oxfordshire recently launched a campaign - 'Make a difference every day' - to encourage more people to apply for jobs in care work.

Around 14,200 people work in adult social care in Oxfordshire at the moment. But the ageing population is growing at twice the national average, so there is an urgent need for more caring, friendly and reliable care workers to support older, frail people in their own homes, in nursing and residential homes or in community hospital settings.

The campaign is being jointly run and funded by Oxfordshire County Council, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG) and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH), in partnership with the Oxfordshire Association of Care Providers (OCAP).

It is targeting specific groups of people, including older women who are looking for a career change or are at retirement age but not yet ready to stop working, parents who may want to work flexibly around family commitments and younger people who may want to work flexibly.

Anyone interested in applying for care work vacancies in Oxfordshire can visit the OACP website, which hosts a range of vacancies, both in the NHS and with private care companies.