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Celebrating the excellent work that’s happening across social care and early years in Wales

Celebrating the excellent work that’s happening across social care and early years in Wales

| Sue Evans, our Chief Executive

Later this week, I will have the honour of co-hosting the Accolades, our annual awards ceremony, alongside BBC TV and radio presenter Garry Owen in Cardiff.

The Accolades are our awards that recognise, celebrate and share the excellent work that’s happening across social care and childcare, play and early years in Wales.

This year will be the fourth time I’ve co-hosted the awards alongside Garry and it’s an event I look forward to every year.

Often the only time we see articles in the media about those working in social care or childcare, play and early years is during those extremely rare occasions where something goes horribly wrong.

It’s rare we see coverage about the countless occasions where care and support makes a hugely positive difference to people’s lives.

We know there are tens of thousands of hard-working, dedicated and committed social care, childcare, play and early years workers providing high quality care and support day-in, day-out to people of all ages and circumstances, supporting them to thrive and achieve the things that matter most to them.

The Accolades are our way of shining a light on that invaluable work and those inspirational people who make it happen – and crucially, to say thank you to them for all that they do.

This year we were delighted to receive 93 entries and nominations for the awards, which are sponsored by the Cardiff-headquartered top 100 UK law firm Hugh James. It’s the second highest number in the awards’ 19-year history.

The standard was exceptionally high and our judges have had a difficult time whittling them down to just 18 finalists.

It’s no secret that the social care and childcare, play and early years sectors are experiencing serious difficulties due to tighter budgets, staffing issues and the cost-of-living crisis.

But despite these challenges, our care workers are continuing to go above and beyond to provide excellent care and support for the people of Wales.  So it’s vital we take this time to recognise their achievements.

Eight projects and 10 workers or teams from across Wales have reached the final round of the awards. The finalists are:  

  • Building bright futures for children and families: Swansea Council’s Born into Care project and Flintshire County Council’s Child to Adult Team
  • Effective leadership award: Julie Reed, Lauren Lincez and Sandra Stacey
  • Looking after and improving workforce well-being: Action for Children’s Vale Short Breaks Tŷ Robin Goch, Antur Waunfawr and Powys Children’s Services
  • WeCare Wales award: Linda Campbell, Nichola Wilcox, Rachel Hunt and Victoria Jones
  • Working in partnership: Flintshire County Council’s Micro-care, Newport Strategic Partnership and North Wales Together: Learning Disability Transformation Programme
  • Working to the principles of strengths-based practice: Becky Evans, Joey Ayris and Wrexham County Borough Council’s RITA Project Team.

My congratulations to all the finalists! I’m looking forward to welcoming them to the awards ceremony at the Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel on Thursday.

We’ll be livestreaming the awards over the internet from 1pm on 25 April, so if you’re interested in watching it and helping us celebrate these inspirational people and projects, you can do so here.

You can find out more about our finalists and why they’ve been shortlisted here.