Sharon, who joined Valorum in September 2020, was awarded the Diocesan Silver Medal in October at a special ceremony in Headingley, Leeds.
Sharon, who lives in Wyke and previously lived in Halifax for more than 50 years, was nominated for the medal by Bishop Marcus Stock.
She was all set for a career as a PE teacher in the late 1980s when her life was transformed by a chance encounter with a man who had Downs Syndrome and a learning disability.
Sharon then abandoned plans to go to university and spent time working as a volunteer at a residential care home before she trained as a nurse.
“I’ve never regretted changing my mind about being a PE teacher. I just think I was very lucky to have discovered at a young age the thing I was truly passionate about – that is taking care of and supporting vulnerable people including those with learning disabilities.
“It was such an honour to receive the silver medal from the Leeds Diocese in recognition of the contribution I have made during my career in social care. I was surprised and delighted to find out the Bishop himself had nominated me for the medal which was crafted by Thomas Fattorini , a designer and maker of state and civic insignia, national honours and medals!”
“I’ve enjoyed every minute of my three decades in nursing and social care and can never imagine doing anything else. Starting the latest chapter in my career in September 2019, when I joined the Valorum Care Group, has been a continuation of that journey. The values and approach of the company resonated with me immediately and I have felt very much at home since joining the team.”
Sharon now manages more than 400 Valorum Care Group staff based in residential care and nursing homes across the North West of England.
Prior to joining Valorum, Sharon has worked as manager, registered manager and then senior manager in a variety of nursing and residential social care settings.
For almost 25 years she managed Leeds Diocese’s charitable care service which included looking after retired priests.
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