Brave Carolyn wins national award

A Rhiwbina woman who took a chance when she spotted a job advert has reaped the benefit by receiving a prestigious award.

Brave mum Carolyn Hall who has battled against Crohn’s Disease was among those honoured at a ceremony at City Hall, Cardiff, the MC for which was opera singer Wynne Evans, aka as Gio Compario from the TV adverts for Go Compare

She was among the winners at this year’s Wales Care Awards organised by Care Forum Wales to recognise good practice in the sector.

The 48-year-old mother of one received a bronze award in the category for Supported Living or Small Group Community Living Practitioner.

Carolyn was looking for something to fill her time when she spotted the advert for a domiciliary care worker by the Barry-based company All Care South Wales Limited.

“I didn’t really think it was going to be for me, but I thought I’d give it a go,” she said.

As it turned out Carolyn proved a “natural”, and she has now been shortlisted in this year’s annual Wales Care Awards organised by Care Forum Wales to recognise good practice in the sector.

She had formerly worked as an administrator for Cardiff City Council and at the Heath Hospital but before spotting the advert had been a “stay-at-home mum” for six years.

For All Care she visited a number of service-users with a range of conditions and disabilities and gained great personal satisfaction from helping them.

She was nominated for the award by her line manager Ceri Anne Gratton, who commented: “Carolyn has a holistic approach to her work and communicates simple ideas to her supervisors to enable care packages to run smoothly.

“Her work with individuals suffering with dementia has been exceptional and the praise she has received has proved her commitment and passion for her role.

“Carolyn has a gift that ensures the individuals she supports never feel rushed, always making time for a valuable cup of tea and a chat.”

The nomination was supported by testimonies from relatives of some of the people in her care.

Carolyn, who suffers from Crohn’s Disease, recently left All Care to work for the Pobl Group in a purpose-built supported accommodation in Llanishen, close to her home in Clos Hendre, Rhiwbina, and is enjoying the work just as much, especially as she is able to devote more time to the residents.

She remains a bank worker with All Care and so is  sometimes called on to visit some of her previous service-users.

“I suppose I have always had a caring nature,” she said. “I get great satisfaction from the job and find it very rewarding.

Despite suffering from Crohn’s Disease, which meant several hospital admissions, she used to enjoy taking part in gruelling obstacle races involving crawling through mud, climbing walls and other test of stamina.

“But I now have arthritis, so I am now limited to walking. I love the outdoors, especially walking in West Wales, such as the coastal path,” she said.

Mario Kreft, the Chair of Care Forum Wales, said the standard of entries was extremely high.

He added: “There are only winners here tonight so it is only fitting that the finalists will receive a gold, silver or bronze Wales Care Award.

“I trust that they will continue to inspire those around them as role models and encourage others to aspire to even greater heights in the months and years to come.

“This awards ceremony is our opportunity to pay tribute and to celebrate the talent and commitment that is improving the quality of life for thousands and thousands of people throughout Wales.

“We take our hats off to them.”