(English) Sky-diving care home manager lands silver award

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A go-getting care home manager has clinched a Silver award at the social care ‘Oscars’.

Patricia Brown was rewarded with one of the highest honours at the 2016 Wales Care Awards in recognition of her years of service during which she has risen to the highest of challenges – including doing a sky dive – to help those worse off than herself.

She was over the moon about receiving the award at a sparkling ceremony and dinner in Cardiff City Hall, where she was joined by hundreds of her peers from all over the country and from all branches of the care sector.

The evening’s compere was well known opera singer Wynne Evans, aka Gio Compario from the television adverts for Go Compare insurance group.

Big hearted Patricia was nominated for an award by her bosses at Greenhill Manor Care Home in Pentrebach, Merthyr Tydfil, but she did not know until the night that she would receive a coveted Silver honour in the commitment to training and workforce development category, sponsored by Pendine Park Academy.

The awards are held annually by Care Forum Wales, and are considered the health care Oscars as they honour men and women delivering the highest standards of professionalism in their field.

Chair of Care Forum Wales, Mario Kreft, who has worked in social care for 25 years, said the prestigious awards were established to pay tribute to unsung heroes and heroines across Wales who, like Patricia, go above and beyond to help people in their care. They are now a highlight of the Wales social care calendar.

Patricia is community manager and training officer for Greenhill Manor’s dementia residential community, based at Hilltop House. She is also a dedicated fundraiser and charity supporter in her spare time.

Known by family, friends and colleagues for never shying away from a challenge, she once did a 12,000 ft high sky dive over Swansea, helping raise £2,000 for Alzheimer’s research. She has also put her best foot forward in the Cardiff Race for Life Pretty Muddy mud run in aid of Cancer Research.

Mum of three Patricia, 31, lives with husband, Neil and children, Jessica, 18, Katelyn, 16, and Cian, 11, at Heol Park Maer, Swansea Road, Merthyr Tydfil.

They are full of pride that Patricia’s years of devotion to the care sector have been rewarded.

She has honed her skills over 13 years in the field and now, as well as being  community manager, carrying our person to person care, Patricia is a manual handling trainer for Greenhill Manor Care Home and has assisted at a number of other homes in her region.

Her duties incorporate heading up training sessions guiding staff about safe techniques for moving patients, safe use of bedrails and also emergency fire evacuation procedures.

She also makes herself available to be on 24 hour call to advise anyone in need of assistance with manual handling procedures and she never hesitates to demonstrate skills first hand during her day to day community manager’s role.

In his submission nominating Patricia for a Wales Care Award, Greenhill Manor Care Home general manager, Mark McCole, said she takes pride in the training she delivers and has a passion for the subject which is clear in all the courses she leads.

He added: “She ensures her personal knowledge and training are up to date and regularly reviews the training she provides to ensure the team always has the most relevant information.”

Care Forum Wales chair, Mario Kreft, who with his wife, Gill, runs Pendine Park care organisation in North Wales, added that the standard of entries for this year’s Wales Care Awards was extremely high.

He said: 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.

“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.

“We take our hats off to them.”