Kelly wins silver award at social care Oscars

A Merthyr care worker has added to her growing collection of awards by taking silver at the social care Oscars.

Kelly Collard, a senior carer at Greenhill Manor home in Pentrebach, was among those honoured at this year’s Wales Care Awards, which are organised by Care Forum Wales to recognise exceptional practice in the care sector. MC for the event was opera singer and radio presenter Wynne Evans, also known as Gio Compario from the TV adverts for Go Compare.

Kelly, 35, who lives on the Gellideg Estate, won a silver award in the category for Residential Care Practitioner, sponsored by the Older People’s Commissioner.

It was her second honour, as earlier this year she received a gold award after being shortlisted as Dementia Care Champion of the Year at Hallmark Care Homes’ annual awards.

She was nominated  for the Wales Care Award by the home’s general manager Mark McCole and there were additional glowing testimonials from other colleagues and relatives of people in her care.

Kelly, whose partner Rowan Powell is also a care worker with Merthyr council, has worked in the sector for 20+ years. Kelly had previously worked at another home for eight years.

Praising her professionalism, high standards and enthusiasm, Mark wrote: “She never fails to share information, build relationships, engage and communicate, and show empathy, compassion and respect whenever necessary.

“She is a practical person who uses her knowledge and skills for the benefit of others.”

One of her colleagues, maintenance worker David Rogers, said one of the residents had commented that Kelly “made her feel she had a lovely warm glow inside”.

Another colleague, community manager Marie Regan, said: “Kelly has a genuine skill at looking after people with dementia. She understands how important it is that people are treated as individuals, and treats the residents in her care with dignity and respect at all times.”

A further tribute came from a relative of one of the residents who resides at Hilltop House and who was immediately put at ease by Kelly.

“I was happy to leave the community that day with the assurance that the person I had left in her charge was in a happy and safe environment,” she commented.

Kelly said she was “gobsmacked” to have been shortlisted for such a prestigious award and for doing what she enjoyed.

“I like to think I am brightening up someone’s life and when I get a smile back I am happy,” she said.

She and Rowan, who accompanied her to the awards ceremony, have been together for 19 years, and they plan to get married next year. She currently enjoys spending her spare time with her nephews and nieces.

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.”