KIND-HEARTED Oriana Taylor has been honoured with an award after dedicating 33 years of her life working with adults and children with learning disabilities.
Oriana, 71, was commended as a Local Hero at the Churchill Awards – a ceremony at which Churchill Retirement Living honours the hard work and dedication of over 65s.
Oriana, from Stubbington, is still working to this day, and provides relaxation therapies for children and adults she works with.
The dedicated care provider attended a ceremony at London’s Mandarin Oriental to collect her award, and mingled with the celebrity recipients of the other awards.
This year’s award-winners also included Sir David Jason, Moira Stewart and football legend Gordon Banks.
Oriana said: ‘I was absolutely buzzing at the event, it was incredible to be among a group of such dynamic, inspiring people.
‘The whole thing has been very surreal, I chatted with people I’ve admired for years.
‘When I first found out I’d won the award I was embarrassed, because I just get on with my job like everyone else.
‘I don’t feel better than anyone else, but I do feel proud of myself now.
‘I have no idea who nominated me but I’m very flattered.’
The Churchill Awards are primarily given to those in the public eye, but through the Local Hero commendation, they also reward ordinary people whose achievements are less widely recognised, but no less worthy.
Oriana works privately and also provides her therapies such as yoga, bodywork and massage relaxation through local authorities.
She also used to work at East Shore school in Portsmouth, which was a special school, before it closed after campaigners lost a three-year battle to save it in 2003.
Oriana added: ‘I went along with my husband and son, and spoke to Dame Esther Rantzen and Sir James Galway.
‘I nearly cried when I collected my award, I was so nervous.’
A spokesman for Churchill Retirement Living said: ‘We know that Oriana has felt very fortunate throughout her life to use all of the skills she has developed.
‘This has made her work interesting, pleasurable and has given her great spiritual and physical well-being.
‘She is an excellent example of someone who continues to do positive work to benefit her local community, and her passion for helping people is an inspiration.’