A quintet of care staff with hearts of gold are all in the running for top awards – including a chef who cooks gourmet meals for residents.
Cardiff-based Angelo Corria, Christine Lovell, Vicky Bailey, Helen Rees, Dan Cole have been shortlisted for Wales Care Awards, known as the social care Oscars.
The glittering ceremony, known as the social care Oscars, will be held at Cardiff City Hall on Friday, November 6.
Dan Cole, 26, a chef who works at Shire Hall Care Home in Overstone Court, was nominated in the Catering in Care category sponsored by Woodwards.
He started working for the home as a kitchen assistant in 2010 and has been praised for the fine dining experiences he has created for the residents and their families, using Welsh produce in his meals.
And Dan could not have a better mentor than his boss, chef Gareth Matthews, who won gold at last year’s event.
Former transport worker Angelo Corria, 63, is on the shortlist for the Exceptional Newcomer Award sponsored by Coleg Cambria/Deeside College.
He spent 30 years running the South Wales transport operation for Royal Mail based at Bridgend before opting to retire early and going on to become caregiver with Home Instead in Cardiff.
Angelo now delivers compassionate daily care to a small group of elderly clients in their own homes and goes the extra mile by taking them on trips out and even taking on a spot of gardening.
Christine Lovell, 66, has been shortlisted for the Outstanding Service Award sponsored by Hallmark in recognition of her contribution to hospital, residential and educational care services in a career spanning 44 years.
She is a Business Development Director with Ludlow Street Healthcare, in Harlech Court, Cardiff.
Christine was once spat on by opponents of her pioneering approach. She was regularly called on to appear at public inquiries to present the case for care services improvements and she encountered huge resistance from some sections of society when voicing her view that it was time to bring the vulnerable out of large residential institutions. Instead she advocated providing the means for them to live independently in local communities.
Vicky, 26, is a Senior Support Worker with care providers Regard, working in a four-bed unit in Talworth Street, Cardiff, for people with learning difficulties and mental health problems. She has been shortlisted in the category for Supported Living Care Practitioner sponsored by Smartcare.
Helen Rees has been shortlisted for the Innovation in Residential Child Care and Young People Award, sponsored by Prospects.
Helen Rees, an experienced learning disability nurse and registered manager of Tŷ Coryton, run by Orbis Education and Care Ltd, in Pendwyallt Road, Coryton, Cardiff.
She is responsible for the care and support of over 20 children and young people who live there.
Colleagues say Helen leads by example and has been instrumental in bringing about change and raising standards as the home moves to becoming a “centre of excellence.”
She is child-focused and ensures the best possible outcomes for young people with autistic spectrum conditions and challenging behaviour.
The awards, first established in 2003 by the Care Forum Wales, seek to reward the champions in the sector and raise public awareness of the vital contribution made by the social care workforce.
Care Forum Wales is a not-for-profit organisation set up in 1993 to give independent care providers a single professional voice with which to speak on one of the most important issues of our time – how to provide better quality care for those who need it most.
He said: “The event is now firmly established as one of the highlights in the Welsh social care calendar and is seen as the Oscars of social care.
“The aim is to recognise the unstinting and often remarkable dedication of our unsung heroes and heroines across Wales.
“The care sector is full of wonderful people because it’s not just a job, it’s a vocation – these are the people who really do have the X Factor.
“If you don’t recognise the people who do the caring you will never provide the standards that people need and never recognise the value of the people who need the care in society.
“We need to do all we can to raise the profile of the care sector workforce – they deserve to be lauded and applauded.”