A “one in a million” support worker who became her struggling client’s rock and went out of her way to help her turn her life around has been honoured with a Guardian Rose.
Joanne Iben Mefteh was presented with the accolade in an emotional surprise ceremony at her workplace, the Children’s Sure Start Centre on Raymouth Lane, Gateford.
She was nominated by Tracy Gladwin, who wanted to give Joanna ‘something back’ for being with her ‘every step of the way’ as she battled mental health problems.
Tracy said: “Without Jo, I genuinely don’t think I would have my children with me now.
“When I became pregnant with twins six years ago, I was monitored by social services due to issues with my mental health.
“For five years, Jo worked tirelessly through my problems with me.
“My twins are disabled and she has taken us to countless hospital and doctor’s appointments, and also helped me secure housing.
“Every person at the Sure Start Centre has supported me, but it is Jo in particular who was there for me every step of the way.
“My own mum passed away two years ago, quite suddenly, and it has been Jo who has taken me under her wing and become like a mother to me.”
Tracy has not only turned her life around thanks to Jo’s help, she also gone on to volunteer at the Sure Start Centre, helping others who were once in her situation.
She added: “Five years ago, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to make this nomination.
“I barely had the confidence to talk to people, that has changed now.
“Jo has done so much for me and my family and this is the best way I could think of to thank her.”
Our Guardian Roses are generously donated by Walker’s House of Flowers, located in the Priory Shopping Centre.
Do you know someone in your community who goes out of their way to help others?
If you do, why not nominate them for a Guardian Rose and give them the credit they deserve.