Rewarding homecare heroes was top priority for a Suffolk neurology charity as staff got together to celebrate the hard work to keep the charity afloat throughout the pandemic.

A glass trophy to reward hard work during the pandemic will be given to 41 members of staff at Headway Suffolk, a charity that supports survivors of brain injury and neurological conditions.

Helen Fairweather, chief executive of the charity, said: "I felt staff had worked extremely hard in really difficult circumstances and I didn't want to just acknowledge that with a pat on the back.

"Quite often homecare gets forgotten about in the keyworker praise, but our staff were working extra hours going into people's homes to ensure they could come home from hospital, taking risks going into houses when they didn't know if all or any precautions were being taken.

"And at our hubs we changed the way we worked to keep people safe.

"But staff went the extra mile too - organising foodbanks, cleaning beyond their normal duties, undertaking extra tasks and pressures."

As well as the specially-designed trophy, the 41 staff members will get a certificate to highlight their efforts.

The awards will be presented by Lady Euston, the Lord-Lieutenant of Suffolk; Mr Edward Creasy, the High Sheriff of Suffolk; and Dr Jane Hawking, patron of Headway Suffolk.

Ms Fairweather added: "I just felt they deserved a reward, and their families too, because families feel it when a member is taking on more stress.

"In a few decades time it'll be something to show the grandkids when they ask what we did in the pandemic.

"There are no specific special awards, everyone helped to keep the charity going through those hard times."

The presentation ceremony was held at Kesgrave Conference Centre on the eve of the two-year anniversary of the first lockdown.

Many services have returned since restrictions began to ease and normal opening days have resumed at Headway's Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich hubs.

Headway also provides a number of rehab services to support clients, including homecare, an outdoor gym, activity books, food parcels and welfare checks.