A Garnant careworker has been named Exceptional Newcomer of the Year at a county-wide awards ceremony.

Gail Williams, who began working for Crosshands Home Services in February 2014, was presented with the award by Falklands War veteran Simon Weston at a glittering event highlighting the role of Carmarthenshire’s 800 ‘angels’ who provide 365-days-a-year domiciliary care.

The event at Parc-y- Scarlets – the first of its kind in the county – recognised the role of the independent sector in ensuring 1,200 of the county’s residents were able to continue living independent lives in their own homes.

Other award winners included Llandeilo’s Kerrie Daniels, who scooped the Young Community Support Workers’ Award, and Community Support Worker of the Year Jennifer Matthews, of Glanamman.

Welsh Guardsman Simon suffered 46percent burns over his body following the attack on the Sir Galahad in Bluff Cove in 1982.

Ninety-five operations later-including two this year, Simon said: “I am only here because of people like you, the angels in my life.

“I am here to honour you because you enrich the lives of the people you look after. People like you made my life bearable. Then they gave me a future.

“You are so valuable because you make life tolerable. You generate a purpose for living, making such an important difference to someone’s life. Not many people can say they make a difference to someone’s life in the manner you all do.

Carmarthenshire’s Aman Gwendraeth locality manager Dr Catherine Poulter said the awards were an opportunity to celebrate domiciliary work which is “a little recognised essential community service”.

The awards’ 160 nominations saw 1,500 votes online votes from service users.