A Flixton care home cook who says caring is in her blood has been recognised for her decade of dedication.

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Linda Smart, 56, has worked as head cook at De Brook Lodge ever since the day it launched almost ten years ago.

Linda was thanked for her commitment at a special celebration at the luxury residential and dementia care home on Irlam Road. She was presented with gifts including flowers and a hamper by home manager Rachel McIntosh and regional director Lorraine Abbiss.

Former staff members from Linda’s earliest days at the home also dropped by to give her their best wishes.

It is not the first time Linda, who lives in Flixton, has been recognised for her work. Last year, she was named Master Chef of the Year at the Ideal Care Awards, a competition that received over 1,200 entries from Ideal homes around the UK.

Rachel McIntosh, home manager, De Brook Lodge, which is operated by Ideal Carehomes, said: “Linda puts the residents first in everything that she does. She recognises the importance that good food and nutrition plays in the lives of older people.

“Nothing is too much trouble for her. A vegetarian herself, she caters effortlessly for a number of special diets. She produces an enticing menu of home cooked dishes each day, from favourites like egg and chips to meaty hotpots, warming stews and tasty soups. She is always happy to rustle up a quick dish to order if a resident has a particular preference.

“Recently, we’ve been treated to homemade chocolate truffles and enjoyed sampling an alternative muffin, croissant and pancake breakfast. Linda is also famous for the beautiful personalised birthday cakes that she makes for our residents.”

Linda said: “I was brought up looking after older people. It was always very important in my family.

“My dad used to take meals round to my grandparents and I would go with him. I did that from being a small child.

“I love cooking and making nice food for people. For older people, eating a meal can be a very important part of their day.

“I’ve worked as a cook in a care environment for over 35 years and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I’ve really enjoyed the last 10 years at De Brook Lodge. The other staff are lovely to work with and I enjoy getting to know our residents.”

De Brook Lodge is a purpose built luxury residential and dementia care home, operated by Ideal Carehomes. It has 52 ensuite bedrooms, landscaped sensory gardens, and is rated good by the Care Quality Commission.