An innovative project to educate future social workers, an initiative that’s bringing children who are looked after back to their local area, and a purpose-built community hub and day centre are among the finalists for the prestigious Accolades awards.
The awards, which we organised, recognise, celebrate and share excellent social care and early years in Wales.
The awards have gone from strength to strength since they were first launched 15 years ago, this year, attracting a record number of entries.
The Accolades are open to teams, projects, and organisations from across the public, voluntary and independent sectors that have made a positive difference in people’s lives.
This year’s finalists were chosen by a panel of judges made up of our Board members, representatives from partner organisations, former winners and people with experience of using care and support.
The winners, which will also be chosen by a panel of judges, will be announced in a virtual ceremony on Tuesday, 10 November 2020.
Sue Evans, our Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted that the record number of entries has resulted in a strong group of finalists that showcase the amazing work being done in social care and early years in Wales.
“It goes without saying that this year has been an exceptionally difficult and challenging one for the social care and early years sectors. As a result, it’s more important than ever we take the time to recognise and celebrate the excellent social care and early years being provided every day in every community in Wales.
“Congratulations to the finalists. I look forward to welcoming you all to the virtual awards ceremony on 10 November, and recognising, celebrating and sharing your efforts and achievements, and those of the wider care sector.”
Categories and finalists
Building bright futures with children and families
- Conwy County Borough Council – For its ‘Family Support Model’ project, which sees five community-based teams provide different levels of support to families, such as group and one-to-one support, and information and advice. The project has also developed a bilingual tool that can be used with families to develop an understanding of what’s important to them, their needs and priorities, an action plan and a pathway for further support.
- Families First Vale Parenting Service, Vale of Glamorgan – For its project supporting families to build on their strengths and make positive changes, helping parents feel more confident in managing behaviour, routines and boundaries. It focuses on promoting emotional well-being and supporting positive family relationships, and benefits from specialist midwifery support, which complements and enhances the parenting service.
- 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
- Wrexham Glyndŵr University – 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.
- Mudiad Meithrin – For its training and development department ‘Academi’, which provides Welsh-medium childcare staff and volunteers with opportunities to develop a range of skills and experiences through its national training programme. In 2018-19, more than 2,100 people attended 142 Academi courses.
- Gwent Regional Partnership Team – For its Gwent Career College Consortium project, which offers a practical approach to recruitment challenges by providing a holistic approach to support the development, qualification and recruitment of health and social care workers in Gwent. The consortium is a collaboration between the local further education college, health board, local authorities, regional employability projects and private social care providers.
Improving care and support at home together
- Flintshire County Council Social Services – For its project providing meaningful daytime activities for more than 250 people with learning disabilities. The project helps people learn new skills, develop independence, and make social connections and friendships. It also works with a supported living programme to help the people it supports, their parents and carers access fulfilling, safe and seamless respite services.
- NEWCIS, 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
- Newport City Council – For its ‘Project Perthyn’ initiative that has committed to opening three new children’s homes in the local authority area. The project aims to bring children back to Newport – to their homes, schools and family – and helps children stay in Newport by providing a different type of care experience.
- Bridgend County Borough Council – For its ‘Baby in Mind’ project, an innovative and creative approach to providing 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.
- Carmarthenshire County Council – For its ‘We Can Run’ project that aims to improve the health and well-being of those using mental health services and promote the positive effects that being active can have on mental health. The project offers a running club and advice on lifestyle, diet and nutrition, as well as other services, such as physiotherapy and a communication platform for its users.
Working with and listening to people living with dementia
- Gwynedd Council – For its ‘Dementia Go’ project, a bilingual service that aims to give people with dementia, their families and carers a chance to be active, have fun and be part of a community. The classes involve exercises to improve strength, balance and co-ordination to help with everyday activities. Sports, such as table tennis, are popular, as are music, singing and dancing, which can help with reducing anxiety and depression, and increase confidence, well-being and quality of life.
- The Rainbow Centre, 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.
- Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust – For its project focusing on the way it responds to people with dementia. The project is developing a Learning and Development Framework for its staff and volunteers, more effective referrals, dementia-friendly environments and better partnerships with key services. It also makes sure people living with dementia and their carers have a strong voice in the project’s work and future plans.