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Caring in Welsh award 2024

Find out more about the award that celebrates those who provide care through the medium of Welsh and how to nominate a worker.

What is the Caring in Welsh award?

The Caring in Welsh Award is an annual award that recognises, celebrates and shares the work of those who’ve made a real difference to people’s lives by providing care and support through the medium of Welsh.

The award recognises the work of people working in social care and childcare, play and early years from across the public, private, voluntary and co-operative sectors in Wales.

The 2024 Caring in Welsh award finalists

The 2024 Caring in Welsh award will be help at the Rhondda Cynon Taf National Eisteddfod on 6 August 2024.

This year five workers from across the social care and childcare, play and early years sectors were chosen as finalists for the Caring in Welsh award.

Abbie Edwards, Registered Manager, Haulfryn Care Limited in Flintshire

Abbie was nominated by Clare Roberts, a member of her team at Haulfryn Care Limited, a care home for people living with dementia.

Clare says Abbie “ensures the Welsh language is alive and thriving at Haulfryn” by making it a big part of daily life for staff and residents. This ranges from Welsh language menu choices to having important conversations in a resident’s preferred language.

These changes help ease new residents’ anxiety and get them settled in the care home more quickly. A family member of one resident said: “Mam settled almost instantly, and there’s no doubt in my mind that this was down to Abbie ensuring Welsh is being used to support her.”

Thanks to Abbie, staff at Haulfryn now complete an introductory course in the Welsh language as part of their induction process, giving them the confidence to have a go. One resident said: “Being able to speak in Welsh with people just makes me happy … I know that all the girls try hard, they have a dictionary and will look it up.”

Abbie doesn’t just encourage her team to learn Welsh on their own. She has involved the residents to help the team by “using their knowledge and expertise”.

Using Welsh is part of the culture at Haulfryn, and its impact on the people who are supported there is clear. One resident said: “Abbie makes me feel at home. Being able to speak Welsh … makes me feel at home”.

Elain Fflur Morris, Senior Carer, Cartref Bryn yr Eglwys in Conwy

Elain was nominated by Meryl Welsby, Registered Nurse Manager at Cartref Bryn yr Eglwys.

Seventy-five per cent of Cartref Bryn yr Eglwys’s residents are first language Welsh speakers. With Elain’s help, these residents are able to live through the medium of Welsh.

Elain often acts as a translator for healthcare workers and residents and their families. Meryl says: “The residents and families feel valued with Elain’s translation skills and the provisions made by the care home to accommodate their preferred language.”

Elain offers daily Welsh language recreational activities for the residents. These have proved very popular and include quizzes, painting, chair exercises and reminiscing – all effective ways of reducing loneliness and anxiety. Reminiscing and accessing memories is often much easier in the resident’s first language.

Elain also makes sure residents experience Welsh language culture at Cartref Bryn yr Eglwys. For example, she offers a Welsh language Sunday chapel service for the residents and always makes sure the National Eisteddfod and Eisteddfod yr Urdd are available for residents to watch on television or listen to on the radio.

Elain’s impact can be seen in the many thank you cards that mention her by name, and the visits from people who no longer have a connection to the care home.

New starters at Cartref Bryn yr Eglwys are often influenced by Elain. The importance of using Welsh is a big part of the induction process that Elain leads. Many new staff members have begun to learn Welsh, including many who already speak English as a second language.

Leone Williams, Social care worker, Cae Glas Resource Centre in Rhondda Cynon Taf

Leone was nominated by Dawn Moulden, Lead Internal Quality Assurance at Cwm Taf Social Care Workforce Development Service.

Leone works with residents living with dementia at Cae Glas Resource Centre. She provides support in Welsh, including translating conversations between staff and residents and reviewing personal care plans.

Dawn says that Leone’s use of Welsh has “limited isolation, built positive relationships ... [and] empowered [residents’] voice and sense of control.”

By working with residents to write their care plans in their preferred language, Leone helps promote positive outcomes. The resident is included in every step of their care.

Dawn says: “Leone has meaningful conversations with residents to enhance their communication and maintain and value their cultural needs.” Using the Welsh language is a big part of residents’ well-being.

One resident said: “It was important as a child to speak Welsh. How nice it is to speak the Welsh language with Leone.”

Leone understands the importance of communicating with people living with dementia in their first language. She welcomes new residents in Welsh, which helps with their transition. This creates an inclusive environment at Cae Glas Resource Centre.

Leone also mentors her colleagues in their use of both written and spoken Welsh. The knowledge that residents can communicate with their carers in Welsh has been reassuring for their families.

Leone has also supported multi-agency working, helping residents communicate with their GP or district nurse. This helps keep things consistent and easy for residents to understand , and keeps their well-being at the centre of their care.

Myfanwy Harman, Leader, Cylch Meithrin y Gurnos in Merthyr Tydfil

Myfanwy was nominated by Heulwen Carter, school secretary at Ysgol Santes Tudful.

Since opening Cylch Meithrin y Gurnos in January 2023, Myfanwy has worked tirelessly to “build strong connections and trust within the community” and expand the Welsh-medium setting from one to 21 children.

Myfanwy has empowered parents to use more Welsh by offering family sessions. Heulwen says: “Despite initial resistance to the Welsh language, Myfanwy has successfully fostered a supportive environment for Welsh language care.”

She takes the pressure off using perfect Welsh, helping parents realise they don’t need to be fluent to send their children to Welsh-medium schools. Seven of the eight children leaving Cylch Meithrin y Gurnos this year will be entering Welsh-medium education.

Myfanwy has collaborated with Canolfan Soar to help integrate the Welsh language into community life, holding events where speakers of all abilities are welcome.

Myfanwy encourages staff to improve their Welsh. Some are using Welsh daily having not spoken the language since leaving school. Myfanwy encourages staff to attend Camau courses to improve their confidence. One staff member said: “Without Myf’s support, I wouldn’t be using the Welsh I’m using today. Texting Myf in Welsh and attending the Camau course have given me a big confidence boost.”

Myfanwy’s influence extends from Cylch Meithrin y Gurnos into the community. One parent said: “Thank you so much for everything. My daughter has come on so well and even taught me some Welsh words and songs.”

These actions mean that “Myfanwy’s dedication has made a lasting difference in the community”.

Sian Jones, Business Manager, St David’s Residential Home in Denbighshire

Sian was nominated by Ruth Parry and David Waltho, who are directors at St David’s Residential Home.

David says “Sian recognises the significance of the Welsh language in providing care” and has taken steps to make sure it’s used in the care home as much as possible.

To help Sian do this, she carried out a Welsh language skills analysis for staff and identified all Welsh speaking residents and visitors. This has helped make sure that everyone receives care and support in their preferred language.

Sian provides staff with resources to help them learn some Welsh. This has included putting boards up around the home with useful phrases and interesting facts about Wales and the Welsh language. Sian has also encouraged staff to complete our Welsh language awareness course. This has had a big impact on staff’s confidence using Welsh.

Sian has also redesigned St David’s Residential Home’s logo and letterhead so they’re bilingual. She has done a lot of work to provide a bilingual website, making the Welsh language a visible and integrated part of the culture at St Davids Care Limited.

Sian recently worked with the Welsh Language Commissioner to put together a report and action plan to identify areas of improvement. Ruth says this makes sure that “Welsh language care and support services will be more accessible to our residents, staff and visitors now and in the future”.

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First published: 7 June 2023
Last updated: 17 July 2024
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