It was a night when the stars of social care shone brightly. The unsung heroes and heroines of the sector were recognised for their skill and dedication at the 14th annual Wales Care Awards.
The glittering ceremony at City Hall in Cardiff was hosted by the larger than life Radio Wales presenter and opera singer Wynne Evans, perhaps better known as the moustachioed Gio Compario from the Go Compare TV ads.
The Craig Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award went to Rhian Huws Williams, an “inspirational figure” to social care in Wales, for her many years of dedicated service..
Rhian, who lives in Cardiff, has recently retired after 15 years as the first chief executive of the Care Council for Wales.
She was a social worker and trainer before going on in 2001 to oversee the formation and then head up the Care Council, which independently regulates and develops the professional education and training of Wales’s social care workforce.
In April next year, the care Council for Wales, which she established and guided through its crucial early years, is due to be superseded by the new body Social Care Wales.
She said: “My passion has always been to raise the profile and the status of the social care sector and its workforce.
“I was totally surprised but very honoured to receive it at such an important event in the calendar which is all about care workers.
“I knew Craig Thomas in whose name the award is made and how much he himself did to raise the profile and drive forward high quality in the sector.
“I’m humbled to have been presented with it in a roomful of people doing one of the most important jobs in social services working with those who need care and dignity.”
Mario Kreft MBE, the chair of Care Forum Wales, said: “Rhian is an inspirational figure in the social care sector in Wales.
“She’s led the Care Council and the sector through some of the most of the significant changes in a generation.
“The award is hugely deserved and recognises her invaluable contribution to the sector in Wales and also internationally.”
The prestigious Spirit of Care Award was won by Tracy Peers, the head of operations at St Asaph-based Cartref Ni Ltd, which supports 35 adults in Denbighshire, Conwy and Flintshire,.
Tracy, who has been the company for 21 years, also won a silver award for Leadership and Management in Support Living.
She said: ”I’m thrilled.I was really touched, although it’s a team effort. It was a lovely evening in a room with so many inspiring people. They made us feel special and it was lovely to see so many other people get high awards as well.”
One of the main highlights of the evening was the Dignity in Care Award, once again sponsored by the Welsh Government.
This year three people were deemed worthy of the award so there was a gold apiece for former restaurant manager Helen Kermode from Swansea, care home manager Angela Rees from Cardiff and care manager Andrew Guy from Caernarfon.
Helen Kermode, deputy manager of Tŷ Camlas, the Tracscare’s service at Ystradgynlais, was just recovering from the shock of winning a gold award at a glittering ceremony when she was called up to the stage a second time.
Originally from Devon, she won a gold award in the category for Residential Care Practitioner and had just returned to her seat when she was named as the winner of the Dignity in Care Award.
Tracscare’s marketing manager Gemma Howells said: “She is an inspirational woman and a role model to all, and her interactions with those she supports easily shows the trust and respect they all have for her.”
Angela Rees, 54, who lives in Bridgend, is in charge of the Tŷ Newydd care home in Roath, Cardiff, which cares for a small number of women aged 18 to 65 with mental health issues, and is known as an effective leader who is keen for her staff to progress so they can maximise the help they give to clients.
Angela, who also won the bronze award in the Nurse of the Year category works for Integra Community Living Options, who have a number of care homes across South Wales for adults aged over 18.
She said: “I’m honoured and delighted to receive these two awards in recognition of being part of an excellent team at Integra working together to achieve positive outcomes.”
The dedicated approach of Andrew Guy, 42, first saw him strike silver in the Excellence in Learning Disability and Mental Health category.
Andrew played a key role in putting in place a new system of active support which has broadened the horizons of people with complex needs and seen them taking on work placements and becoming involved in a range of leisure activities.
The methods adopted in Caernarfon have been so successful in the past three years
that Andrew has just taken on an important new job training fellow managers and staff at Gwynedd Council to adopt them in other areas of the county and has even helped spread the word abroad.
Andrew said: “It was a night of double celebration for me and I felt like a member of royalty.”
Meanwhile, the Bryn Terfel Foundation Wales Care Award for promoting the arts in social care was given to the Music in Hospitals charity, a national charity established in 1948 that arranges around 5,000 live concerts annually in the UK.
The ceremony was attended by the Welsh Government’s Minister for Social Services and Public Health, Rebecca Evans, who praised the social care workers and employers who were at the ceremony.
She said: “People in this room have excelled due to their dedication and skill and also because they’ve been encouraged by their employers so I’d like to pay tribute to all of them.”
Mario Kreft said the standard of entries for the Wales Care Awards was extremely high.
He added: ““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.”
- Exceptional Newcomer Award – Sponsor – Coleg Cambria
GOLD Jeni Lynne Williams, Halllmark Care Homes Bryn Celyn Care Home, Care Assistant
GOLD James Colburn, Care Inn Ltd Three Cliffs Care Home, Care Assistant
SILVER Louise Price, Penpergwm House Residential Home Ltd, Client Liaison Officer
SILVER Joshua Wilson, Branas Isaf Branas Isaf Personal Development Centre, Residential Support Worker
- The Social Care Health & Safety Award
GOLD Stephen Ivins, Oakville South Wales Ltd The Romilly Nursing Home, Maintenance Officer, Fire Officer & H & S Officer
SILVER Ian Fisher, Hallmark Care Homes, Health & Safety Consultant
- Excellence in Catering Award – Sponsor – Woodward Foodservices
GOLD Patrick Johnstone, Hallmark Care Homes Ltd Ty Enfys Care Home, Head Chef
SILVER Catherine Williams, Barchester Healthcare Ltd Bryn Ivor Care Home, Catering Manager
- Excellence in Learning Disability & Mental Health Services Award – Sponsor – Carewatch & Home Instead Senior Care
GOLD Andrew Papirnyk, The Regard Partnership , Registered Care Home Manager
GOLD Neil Jeremiah, Tracscare, Area Operations Manager
SILVER Andrew Guy, Cyngor Gwynedd / Gwynedd Council, Day Care Supervisor,
SILVER Sharon Jones, Consensus Support, Home Manager
- Leadership and Management in Supported Living or Small Group Community Living Award
GOLD Phillip Stapley, Family Housing Assosiation, Project Manager
SILVER Tracy Peers, Cartref Ni Ltd , Head of Operations
BRONZE Catrin Hooper, Swanton Care & Community, Service/Registered Manager
- Leadership and Management in Residential Care Services Award – Sponsor – Christie & Co.
GOLD Lorraine Jackson, Consensus Support Ty Hendy Care Home, Home Manager
SILVER Helen Beecham, Care Inn Ltd Plasgeller Care Home, Registered Manager
BRONZE Gwenda Potter, The Regard Partnership Beudygwyn Farm, Service Manger
- Commitment to Training & Workforce Development Award – Sponsor – The Pendine Academy of Social Care
GOLD Louise Davies Rae, Wrexham County Borough Council, Social Care Development Coordinator
SILVER Patricia Brown, Hallmark Care Homes Ltd Greenhill Manor Care Home, Community Manager
- Supported Living or Small Group Community Living Care Practitioner Award
GOLD Gareth Watkins, Q Care Ltd, Support Worker
SILVER Emma Ogden, Cartref Ni Ltd, Care-Support Worker
BRONZE Carolyn Hall, All Care South Wales Ltd, Domiciliary Care Worker
- Commitment to Quality in Housekeeping and Hospitality Award – Sponsor – A Baldwins & Company
GOLD Lynda Davies, Care Inn Ltd Crosfield House Care Home, Housekeeper
SILVER Christopher Gregory, Life Long Learning 4 Living Ltd Llanerchrugog Hall, Assistant Manager / Premises
BRONZE Wayne Skinner, Linc Cymru Housing Association Capel Grange Nursing Home and Penylan House , Dual Manager
- Excellence in Palliative and End of Life Care
GOLD Andreea Schiopu, Silvercrest Care Mill View Care Home, RGN/Deputy Manager
- Excellence in Dementia Care Award – Sponsor – FISC Healthcare
GOLD Jennifer Davies, Care Inn Ltd , Crosfield House, Team Leader
GOLD Mandy Zatac, Care Inn Ltd Rickeston Mill Nursing Home, Clinical Lead
SILVER Julie Evans, Barchester Healthcare Plas Y Dderwen Care Home, RMN/ENG
SILVER Zowie Evans, Osborne Care Homes Ysguborwen House Care Home, Deputy Manager-EMI Unit
- The Peter Clarke Award for Promoting Excellence in Services for Children and Young People Award
GOLD Leanne Bennett, Branas Isaf , Registered Children’s Home Manager
GOLD Lucy Wheen, Bryn Melyn Care , Head of Clinical Services
- Outstanding Service Award – Sponsor – Hallmark Care Homes
GOLD Philip Williams, Vale of Clwyd Mind, CEO / Housing Manager
SILVER Celia Callaghan, Integra Community Living Options, Senior Support & Rehabilitation Practitioner
BRONZE Sharon White, Silvercrest Care, Nurse
- Promoting Fulfilled Lives Award – Sponsor – Boots
GOLD Sarah McCowan, Ucan Care Ltd, Home Manager
GOLD Lynda Wenner, Consensus Support Ty Machen Care Home, Home Manager
SILVER Robert Lee Thomas, Hafod Care Association Picton Court Care Home, Activities Coordinator
SILVER Luke Jenkins, Hallmark Care Homes Greenhill Manor Care Home, Lifestyles Co-Ordinator
- Residential Care Practitioner Award – Sponsor – Older People’s Commissioner
GOLD Helen Kermode, Tracscare, Deputy Home Manager
GOLD Gina Ashby, Barchester Healthcare Ltd Rhallt Care Home, Care Assistant
SILVER Ruthmar Gaitana, Pendine Park Care Organisation, Highfield Care Home, Senior Care Practitioner
SILVER Kelly Collard, Hallmark Care Homes Greenhill Manor Care Home, Senior Carer
- Nurse of the Year Award – Sponsor – Ontex UK
GOLD Sreeja Ranjith, Halllmark Care Homes Greenhill Manor Care Home, Registered Nurse
SILVER Cristina Poama, Barchester Healthcare Ltd Rhallt Care Home, Acting Head of Unit
BRONZE Angela Rees, Integra Community Living Options, Registered Manager