In my last column, I focused on the Care Stars initiative, which invited people to nominate a care worker they thought deserved special recognition for their efforts since the start of the pandemic.
Out of 120 nominations, 12 extraordinary Care Stars were chosen for their inspirational stories.
I make no apology that I am using this month’s column to draw your attention to another set of awards, because our under-pressure care sector deserves to get as much recognition as possible in these hugely challenging times.
All those working in social care and in early years and childcare services are continuing to do a remarkable job. The pandemic is far from over for those on the front line and continues to push our care workers to the limit.
While you could argue that an awards scheme might not be welcome when the care workforce is still dealing with daily challenges, the feedback we have had from many during the past 18 months is that they still welcome opportunities to recognise what is being achieved.
The Accolades have been running since 2005 and have now become an annual event. They are designed to recognise, celebrate and share notable work in social work, social care and childcare, play and early years in Wales.
We’re now welcoming applications for the 2022 Accolades. We have categories for teams, groups or organisations in the public, private, voluntary or co-operative sectors in Wales.
We also have awards for individual care workers. These are open to any paid worker or volunteer in social work, social care or childcare, play and early years who makes a positive difference to people’s lives through the care and support they provide.
We’re asking colleagues, employers, people using care and support or their carers, family and friends to nominate any care workers they would like to see recognised.
There are seven categories altogether – five for teams, groups and organisations, and two for individual care workers. Most of these categories have sponsors, to whom we are grateful for their support. They are Blake Morgan, Data Cymru, Unison, the WJEC and City & Guilds.
The last time we ran the Accolades, in 2020, we were delighted not only by the record number, but also by the standard and variety of entries.
Since then, the positive difference the social care, childcare, play and early years sectors make to people’s lives has shone through more than ever. During the past 18 months, our care workers have stepped up under extremely challenging and difficult circumstances to show just how vital and valuable they are.
The 2022 Accolades will give us an opportunity to showcase the excellent work that’s been happening across Wales, and we’re looking forward to recognising, celebrating and sharing that practice.
I would urge anyone who works in social work, social care, childcare, play or early years in Wales to submit their application so their good work can be acknowledged.
Similarly, if you know of a great service or care worker who deserves to be recognised, please encourage them to enter the Accolades or nominate them for the individual awards.
The closing date for entries and nominations is 5pm, 5 November 2021.
Find out more about the 2022 Accolades