New Sunderland mum who returned to work early to help young carers wins heroes contest
Jenna Green, a young carer support worker at Sunderland Carers Centre, in Thompson Road, Sunderland, is one of three winners of ferry operator DFDS’s Everyday Heroes contest.
Judges were impressed by her “love for her job and her young carers” after she was nominated by her sister, Lindsey Robson, 39, who lives in the Hendon area of the city.
Married mum-of-two Jenna, 35, who gave birth to son Kane, in November 2019, returned to work in May last year to help colleagues provide home support packages for the 830 young carers – including many still at primary school – who are assisted by the centre.
Jenna, of Hendon, who is also mother to six-year-old Lana, said: “In my eyes, I do not think I have done anything different as I was just coming back to help the marvellous work already done by my colleagues.
"It is just about trying to keep the momentum and contact going so the young carers know know that we are still here for them during all this.”
Lindsey said: “Despite her anxiety about the pandemic and worries for her own young family, her first thought was to support her young carers through a very difficult and challenging time.
“Her love for her job and her young carers led her to return from maternity leave early and quickly put a support programme in place to make sure that some of the most vulnerable young people in our city were supported.”
Centre chief executive Amanda Brown praised all her team and added: “Jenna is a real doer and completes everything she sets out to do.”
Jenna’s reward is a £500 cash prize and a trip to Europe with DFDS once the pandemic eases.
Competition judge Gemma Griffin, who is DFDS's vice president of human resources and crewing, said: “‘The standard of nominations was so high that it was a tough decision to choose the winners.
"Each stood out in their own way for their differing contributions to their communities and it was moving to read how much they were valued.”
The centre, which supports 10,630 people in total, can be contacted on (0191) 5493768.
Further information is also available at www.sunderlandcarers.co.uk/donate.