Speaking to Express.co.uk, Nicolas detailed his journey into health and social work after moving from Mauritius to Britain. After becoming a British citizen, he quickly rose through the ranks, becoming the youngest care home manager in the UK and is currently pursuing his passion for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease awareness and research in the UK. by undertaking a doctorate on the subject. Asked about his motivations for joining the social care sector and caring for the elderly in particular, Nicolas shared that it all started after noticing the first symptoms of his grandfather’s Alzheimer’s disease at school. age of 16.

“My grandfather used to wake up around three in the morning and go through his own routine, very confused. But in Mauritius in 2004, there wasn’t really dementia healthcare like in the UK.

“So [doctors] said it was just old age. Eventually, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and then passed away.

With such personal experience of the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia causing a lasting impact, it wasn’t until Nicolas moved to the UK in 2006 and found himself struggling to find a job while student that he first got a job in a retirement home.

He went on to explain, “One of my sister’s friend’s uncles was a manager in a nursing home, but he told me I was too young to apply as a carer, so to apply instead. as a housekeeper. And it was my first job at 19. I had never done a job in my life. »

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Working 20 hours in a row every Saturday and Sunday to juggle his accounting studies, Nicolas goes on to explain how a cleaning job quickly turned into a nursing job.

“Every Saturday and Sunday I was really looking forward to going to clean the nursing home. I met so many residents every weekend and one day they were short of staff so they said to me ‘Nicolas you will to be a caregiver.

“From that day I started my journey in the care field and I have been doing it for 16 years now. I became a nurse’s aide, then a team leader and I became a manager in 2015. At that time, I I was responsible for the first nursing home to be awarded by the Care Quality Commission.

As well as managing and supporting staff at his current nursing home in Romford, Essex, Nicolas decided that wasn’t enough and started raising money for dementia charities by running marathons.

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In total he ran nine marathons for Alzheimer’s Research and Alzheimer’s Society, not choosing to stop even when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but instead ran a virtual marathon in which he raised £700.

When asked how hard training and running for marathons was, Nicolas replied, “The first time I did it, I was exhausted. In the pictures on the website, I look so tired. But then I started working with a personal trainer and we trained two to three times a week three months before the marathon.

“The one I’m really proud of is the one I did during lockdown because I didn’t want to give up on Alzheimer’s Research. So I told my personal trainer Oliver that I would always do it and even with social distancing, he dragged me into the park.

“For me, when I run a marathon, I represent a charity. When I run, I don’t put my name, I put Alzheimer Research and that’s what makes me the most proud. Now, over the years, it has become a habit. My family and my partner are very supportive and it has become a habit in my life to run marathons.

The incredible fundraising work that Nicolas continues to do has not gone unnoticed in his region as he remains Age UK Enfield’s youngest trustee and volunteers for the China Exchange Charity. The philanthropist has also won awards in industry-specific areas such as National Dementia Inspiring Leader in 2017 and the Dementia Care Awards in 2019.

Amidst all of this, when asked what his proudest moment to date was, Nicolas referenced the BCA medal he receives on Thursday saying he didn’t expect to be honored in this way. .

He added: “I am very proud to be a British citizen. But also to represent Mauritius with something so great. My mother is very proud, my whole family is very proud.

“I try to encourage other people to follow my path and spend time with charities and fundraising etc., because there are not many people who will give their time to charities. charities.”

In addition to encouraging others to spend time and donate to charity as he has devoted much of his life to doing, Nicolas also aims to complete his doctorate in order to try to achieve his goal. forever to write a book on dementia.

“I’ve always wanted to write about dementia and also support family members and people with early onset dementia. What my tutor told me is that in the UK, compared to America, there is a lack of studies. Most of the articles, reviews and research are in America, Australia or Europe.

When asked what’s next in his fundraising attempts, Nicolas has set new heights for himself as he faces his fears in order to try and pull off a skydive in the name of charity. . He ended by saying, “One of my biggest phobias is height. But one day, I really want to challenge myself mentally and skydive for charity. I’ve always wanted to do this but I’m so scared of heights!

The BCA Medal presentation will be hosted on July 7 by TV news presenter Naga Munchetty, and in the presence of BCA Patron Dame Mary Perkins, founder of Specsavers, and The Rt Hon, Lord Dholakia.