A CARE assistant from North Cornwall was invited to Buckingham Palace to attend The King’s Garden Party earlier this month.

Mark Flanders, an employee of Bluebird Care Cornwall North was invited to the Palace Garden Party where he had the opportunity to mingle with esteemed guests, including Queen Camilla and Princess Anne.

Mr Flanders, who described the experience as ‘like a fairytale’ – was invited to the King’s Garden Party in recognition of the positive impact he has made on his community.

He was nominated for the prestigious royal invitation by his colleagues after he was named the winner of the Bluebird Care ‘Expert of the Year’ Award in 2023, having been chosen from more than 10,000 care experts across Bluebird Care’s national franchise network for his care which judges described as having “genuinely changed people’s lives, by creating an environment where they eagerly anticipate each day.”

Mr Flanders was described by his employers as an ‘exceptionally committed person, having assisted a customer in writing a blog for his friendship group and helped another customer who lost all speech ability after a stroke by taking pictures and labelling familiar objects.

Having worked as a factory worker for thirty years, making custard and rice pudding, he only made the decision to take up a role in care a few years ago, making a significant impact on the lives of people needing care and support across Cornwall North ever since.

Reflecting on his attendance at Buckingham Palace, Mark Flanders, care assistant at Bluebird Care Cornwall North said: “Becoming a Care Assistant has been a transformative journey for me, and I can’t believe it’s led me to this invitation to Buckingham Palace – just for doing something I love. This is the first job I’ve ever had where I genuinely look forward to coming back to work after a holiday – it’s just an amazing feeling getting to put smiles on people’s faces.

“The day at the palace was like a fairytale adventure with people from all walks of life and an ambience I will likely never experience again! Amazing doesn’t quite cut it!”

Sylvia Sayers, director of Bluebird Care Cornwall North, added: “We are so proud of Mark, and he deserves to be celebrated like royalty for the difference he makes day in, day out, for our customers across North Cornwall.

“Mark’s compassion, creativity, and drive is really an inspiration, and made him a very worthy winner of the highly sought-after ‘Care Expert of the Year’ award from across our 200 plus franchised care businesses that are part of the Bluebird Care network. We are privileged to have Care Experts like Mark, and we can’t wait to see what he achieves next.”