THE Covid-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented and unimaginable period of turbulence and heartache for pretty much everyone.

Many have suffered unthinkable losses, while others have placed themselves under immense strain in order keep other, more fragile people safe.

But being faced with the unpredictably contagious virus, and the deadly uncertainty which goes with it, has also brought out the immeasurable good in many of us.

Dedicated care worker Stephen Patey, 63, perhaps best epitomises the uplifting displays of compassion, selflessness and empathy which we have become so accustomed to seeing over the last few months.

Mr Patey, a carer at Silversprings, in Tenpenny Hill, Thorrington, is accustomed to going above and beyond for his residents but over the past nine months he has done so more than ever before.

During the lockdown he has turned his hand to learning how to apply make-up to a glamorous resident, to help her feel more confident every day.

He also makes regularly visits to the pharmacy to pick up medication, helps with maintenance, and is planning on dressing up as Father Christmas next month to spread some festive cheer.

His efforts have not gone unnoticed and he has now been named as a Care UK Hero following a search across 122 care homes.

From outstanding colleagues, to residents who have ensured morale remains high, the competition aims to shine a light on the efforts of exceptional people.

In addition to his duties as a care worker, Stephen, 63, has also been a huge source of support to residents and their relatives throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Patey said: “I’m thrilled to have been chosen.

“I know just how difficult the past few months have been so it was important for me to raise morale in any way I could...even if that was just learning how to apply blusher and lipstick.

“The whole team at Silversprings has worked hard to create a positive environment and I’m so grateful for their support.”

Stephen has only been at Silversprings for a year, but has already had a huge impact on his colleagues, the appreciative residents, and their relatives.

Before working as a carer at Silversprings, which he has only done for a year, Stephen excelled as a site manager for 42 years at several European companies.

Going from instructing burly builders to tentatively catering to society’s most vulnerable might seem like an odd career change but Mr Patey’s desire to care for people is a personality trait applicable to any circumstance.

“I love being part of the Silversprings family and to know I am making a difference to other people’s lives is the best part of the job,” said Mr Patey.

“We work together to ensure that residents receive the highest standard of care at all times.”

Joanne Rix, manager at Silversprings, has now praised Mr Patey.

She said: “Stephen is an invaluable member of our team and his priority is first and foremost the wellbeing of residents.

“We are very proud to have him as part of the Silversprings family.”