The Cedars care home has won a coveted prize in a top national photography competition.

The Cedars in Ashbrooke, came fourth in the ‘Happiness’ themed competition run by Care England, the representative body for care services. 

The Cedars’ winning photo tells the story of Mark Simpson, 31, a resident who has autism and downs syndrome, and his happiness at overcoming his fear of animals to complete volunteer work at a riding stables. 

With the encouragement and support of workers at East Moore Stables in Beamish, Mark has gone from being too afraid to be near the horses to being able to hand feed them, to turn them out and to complete many of the tasks involved in their care. 

Jan Collins, The Cedars’ Manager, said she was delighted that Mark’s photo won a prize in the prestigious competition.

She said: “I hope Mark’s story can inspire other people to overcome their fears, try something new and find happiness.

“Often people with learning disabilities or autism are told that they can’t do things for whatever reason, but Mark’s story proves that it can be done!”

Winners from the Care England Photography Competition will be featured in June’s edition of Care Agenda, the national care magazine.