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WeCare Wales Week: Day seven – Celebrating our carers!


This week we have highlighted some stories about the exceptional carers we have here in Wales.

Here, we celebrate our workforce and thank them for their commitment, kindness and care.

The Accolades 2020

The Accolades awards recognise, celebrate and share excellent social care, early years and childcare practice in Wales.

This year, 160 entries were received, the highest ever, and the applications were whittled down to 19 finalists by a panel of expert judges.

The six winners were:

Building bright futures with children and families (sponsored by UNISON) – won by Navigate Parent Mentoring Service @ Scope

For its project providing bespoke support to parents who have a child on the path to a diagnosis of disability or impairment, or who have received a diagnosis within the past 12 months. It provides tailored emotional and practical support to parents and carers that helps them give their child the best start in life.

Developing and inspiring the workforce of tomorrow (sponsored by Data Cymru) – won by Glyndŵr University Wrexham

For its ‘Outside In’ project, a focus group that uses innovative ways to educate future social workers. ‘Outside In’ makes sure social work students learn from the experience and expertise of individuals who have received social care, social work and health services.

Improving care and support at home together (sponsored by City & Guilds and WJEC) – won by NEWCIS in north-east Wales

For its ‘Bridging the Gap’ project, which allows unpaid carers to access reliable and flexible respite solutions. It allows carers to take a break to suit their needs and can support an urgent need for respite.

Innovative and inspiring ways of working (sponsored by the Social Care Wales Board) – won by Bridgend County Borough Council

For its ‘Baby in Mind’ project, which provides families with effective early intervention in an attempt to improve outcomes in the short-, medium- and long-term. The project provides pre- and post-birth support to families, aiming to reduce the number of children who are looked after.

Working with and listening to people living with dementia (sponsored by Blake Morgan) – won by The Rainbow Centre in Penley, near Wrexham

For its day centre project, a purpose-built community hub that provides a range of interventions, such as social interest and exercise groups, community outreach and befriending, as well as community transport and volunteering opportunities. The project aims to promote positive ageing and empower older people to stay as independent as possible and reconnect with the local community.

WeCare Wales award (sponsored by the WeCare Wales campaign) – won by Sandra Stafford, a foster carer for Conwy County Borough Council

Sandra was nominated for the award by social workers Danielle Dally and Sarah Vater

“Exceptional foster carers” Sandra and her husband Mark have been fostering since 2001, demonstrating commitment and passion, and providing a high quality of care. One foster child was placed with the family after her release from hospital. Sandra, as the child’s main carer, is faced with daily challenges, but the child has been welcomed with open arms and provided with love, stability and compassion, enabling her to make significant progress in her recovery. The child has been provided with a safe and loving home environment, acceptance, and opportunities to enjoy a second chance and achieve her full potential.

Watch the award ceremony here:

WeCare Wales TV advert

In May this year, we brought to life a carer’s poem about her job in the form of a television advert.

The advert features the voice of Emma Pinnell, reading her poem “Just a Carer” that she wrote for and performed on Rhod Gilbert’s Work Experience programme, filmed at College Fields nursing home in Barry.

Also a big thank you to the following organisations and care homes that submitted footage for us to use: Llys Hafren, Pontypool, Powys Capel Grange Nursing Home, Newport College Fields, Barry Cwmbran House, Cwmbran Tŷ Gwyn Care Home, Cwmbran Penylan House, Cardiff St Isan Care Home, Cardiff Woodcroft Care Home, Cardiff!

#ThankYou from the children and parents of Wales

In May, children of all ages and their parents came together to say a big “Diolch” to the people that work in the early years, childcare and playwork sectors.

As parents across the country juggled working from home with caring for their children, we saw an increased respect and admiration for early years, childcare and playwork employees who help our children learn, play and develop.

We produced the video to give the workforce a morale boost and let them know just how much they were missed, as most settings – except those caring for children of keyworkers – remained closed.

Unprecedented times

DENBIGHSHIRE CARE RECRUITMENT – Responding during unprecedented times

It’s safe to say that 2020 has been a particularly busy and unpredictable year for everyone working in the care sector, but so many people have rose to the challenges and gone above and beyond to provide support and care for our local communities. That’s particularly true of the Workforce Development Team from Denbighshire, who supported a project to promote recruitment in care.

The aim of the project was to ensure there was enough staff and volunteers available to deliver care and support as a result of the ongoing pandemic. Working together, the remote project group developed a new recruitment service which assisted with the recruitment, vetting, induction and allocation of new staff. They also worked hard to match individuals to the roles where they were best suited, ensuring that each new employee or redeployee received a thorough induction to their new role as well as regular check-in calls and support.

The project has been a huge success, and the team were able to ensure that care and support was maintained to the most vulnerable people within Denbighshire.  Nearly 70 individuals have been allocated to roles within Residential and Extra Care, Domiciliary Care and the befriending service. The staff recruited have undertaken a wide variety of different tasks, including care and support, domestic chores, cooking, deliveries, as well as providing wellbeing support to tackle loneliness and isolation.

These individuals have been invaluable in responding to crisis situations, as well as helping to prevent the sector reaching crisis point. The enthusiasm, hard work and adaptability of individuals and the care settings in which they have been allocated has been vital to making this approach a success, but none of it would have been possible without the hard work of the Workforce Development Team.

David who a redeployee who used the new service, tells us, “having worked in the care sector for 12 years, it was a pleasure to utilise my past experiences and support the team at Gorwel Newydd during these unprecedented times. I was particularly impressed with the support I was given by the recruitment team with regular check-ins, but I needn’t have worried as I was warmly welcomed by the other care workers and felt at home straight away. I felt very safe with their response to the pandemic, the residents and staff were protected and well informed at all times.”

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