A YOUNG graduate who started going to church because so many of the clients he cares for are religious is in the running for a top award.
Ross Camacho’s dedication was rewarded when he was shortlisted as a finalist at the prestigious Wales Care Awards, know as the social care Oscars.
He began attending Cornwall Street Baptist Church near his Cardiff home last October and he was baptised this August at the age of 23.
“Most of my clients, particularly elderly clients, are very religious,” said Ross. “When you experience end of life care it can be very stressful.
“I started attending church regularly last October and now I go two or three times a week. It’s on the same street as me. I find it really helps.”
A graduate in biomedical physiology, Ross has been a caregiver at Right at Home in Cardiff and Newport for a little under a year, gaining his QCF Health and Social Care in record time.
His progress with his QCF qualification – Qualifications and Credit Framework – was commended by his assessor. He is now studying for his QCF 3 Health and Social Care.
He has been nominated by operations director at Right at Home, Viv Foley, in the Exceptional Newcomer category, sponsored by Coleg Cambria, at the 15th Wales Care Awards at City Hall in Cardiff on Friday, October 19.
The awards are organised by Care Forum Wales, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.
Right at Home is based in St Mellons in Cardiff and also covers neighbouring area Newport.
Ross, who lives in Grangetown in Cardiff, is a caregiver in the community and undertakes domiciliary calls and also longer companionship calls.
Ross said: “I worked for two years in cancer research. The work was very interesting, but I didn’t enjoy the social environment.
“Since I moved to Right at Home I’ve found the work very rewarding. My clients have helped me develop as a person.”
Viv said all clients, colleagues and office staff are unanimous in the decision to nominate Ross for a care award.
“He is kind, caring, committed, exceptionally bright and knowledgeable while remaining humble at all times, treating our clients with the compassion they deserve,” said Viv.
“He is efficient and conscientious in his calls and with his feedback and reporting, and for a first venture into care Ross has been a revelation to us and his clients.”
Viv says Ross has developed his skills through Right at Home’s training programme, but also by using his own initiative and self-development that have really shone when delivering care.
“His clients trust him implicitly as do his colleagues, co-ordinators and myself as his manager,” she added.
“I know that when Ross is allocated a package of care I am comfortable in the knowledge that he will conduct himself both professionally and competently and will always give his best when at a call.”
Ross is very well thought of in the community, says Viv, and his values and work ethos are second to none, being a great ambassador for the Right at Home company and also a role model for existing carers and others new to the team.
“Ross is exceptional in every way in his role as a carer and in a field of work where male carers are sometimes at a premium, this is a joy to witness and to watch him grow as a carer is something that we find a privilege to be part of,” said Viv.
Mario Kreft MBE, the Chair of Care Forum Wales, said the Wales Care Awards had gone from strength to strength.
He said: “This year’s ceremony is an even more special occasion because it marks the 15thanniversary of the Wales Care Awards and the 25th anniversary of Care Forum Wales and the event is now firmly established as one of the highlights in the Welsh social care calendar.
“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.”