A CARE home worker from Stroud has been awarded a prestigious medal of merit from the British branch of the world’s oldest order of chivalry.

Marisa Richards received a Bronze medal from the Sovereign Order of Malta for almost half a century’s work helping others.

She works for the Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT) and provides support for residents at Wyatt House in Mathews Way, Paganhill.

The care worker was described by her colleagues as a “great asset” who was universally well-respected.

She received her medal at the St John’s Day Ceremony in London on June 24, which was attended by hundreds of people including Knights and Dames of the Order, the Venerable Order of St. John and World Ambassadors.

In addition, a posthumous Silver Medal of Merit was awarded to Mags Illingsworth, a former home manager at Southfield in Stroud.

During her career with OSJCT, Mags was promoted several times before becoming home manager at Southfield in Park Road in December 2010.

According to colleagues, the energy, enthusiasm, passion and care she demonstrated for residents, the home and co-workers was a great inspiration.

Kevin Hall, OSJCT operations director paid tribute to the hard work of both carers.

“Each year, the Sovereign Order of Malta recognises some of our country’s finest care workers, and this year is no different.

“Marisa is one of the hardest working employees within the Trust, as was Mags.

“Delivering the highest level of person-centred care is our utmost priority, and our employees earning such a prestigious national award is a testament to all of the passion and dedication our employees have to meeting the needs of each and every one of our residents.”

The British Association of The Order of Malta was founded in 1875.

A worldwide organisation dating from the eleventh century, the Order of Malta has 12,500 members, with around 300 belonging to the British Association.

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