A Bridgend project providing pre- and post-birth support to families, a purpose-built community hub near Wrexham and a project based in north-east Wales that gives unpaid carers access to reliable and flexible respite solutions are among the winners of the 2020 Accolades.
Our Accolades awards recognise, celebrate and share excellent social care, early years and childcare practice in Wales.
A total of six Accolades were presented earlier today in a celebratory programme hosted by radio and television presenter Garry Owen and our Chief Executive Sue Evans, which was broadcast live over YouTube.
One-hundred-and-sixty entries were received for the 2020 Accolades, the highest ever, and the applications were whittled down to 19 finalists by a panel of expert judges.
The judges included members of the Board, representatives from partner organisations across social care, early years and childcare, previous winners and people with experience of using care and support.
One of the Accolades presented was the WeCare Wales award, a new award for 2020 that celebrates individual care workers in Wales who have made a positive impact on people’s lives. The winner, Sandra Stafford, a foster carer from Conwy, was chosen by a public poll in which more than 2,000 people voted.
Julie Morgan MS, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Care, said: “I'm delighted we have this opportunity with the Accolades to pay tribute to the social care and early years workforce, and to celebrate the contribution of those providing excellence in care in Wales.
“It is so important that we celebrate excellence in care, now more than ever. During what has been an extraordinary and difficult year for us all, we should be proud and encouraged by the amazing examples of care work by our finalists.
“The work carried out is truly innovative and inspirational – there is such a lot to be proud of. Dedication, skill and hard work has brought the finalists to the 2020 Accolades, and I am honoured to recognise and celebrate their success.”
Mick Giannasi CBE, Chair of Social Care Wales, said: “These awards have always been a way to say thank you and to celebrate the great work that’s happening in social care, early years and childcare day in, day out, in communities all across Wales.
“This year has been a year like no other and those working in the social care, early years and childcare sectors have surpassed themselves in the way they have supported individuals and communities, helping keep people safe and enabling them to continue, as best they can, to live the lives that matter to them.
“My congratulations to all the winners and finalists, you should be incredibly proud of your achievements and the excellent work that you do. And thank you to everyone working in social care, early years and childcare for everything you do on behalf of the people of Wales.”
Sue Evans, our Chief Executive, said: “We have been delighted by not only the record number, but the standard and variety of entries we received for the 2020 Accolades.
“This year has been one of the toughest yet for our judges, with very little to separate some of the finalists in their categories. The experience has shown just how many great examples of excellent care and support we have here in Wales, and the valuable and positive difference care workers are making to so many people’s lives.
“We will continue to celebrate and share these fantastic examples of care with the social care, early years and childcare sectors going forward, as part of our work to support and improve practice across Wales.”
The six winners are:
Building bright futures with children and families (sponsored by UNISON) – won by 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 (sponsored by Data Cymru) – won by Glyndŵr University Wrexham
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.
Improving care and support at home together (sponsored by City & Guilds and WJEC) – won by NEWCIS in 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 (sponsored by the Social Care Wales Board) – won by Bridgend County Borough Council
For its ‘Baby in Mind’ project, which provides 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.
Working with and listening to people living with dementia (sponsored by Blake Morgan) – won by The Rainbow Centre in Penley, 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.
WeCare Wales award (sponsored by the WeCare Wales campaign) – won by Sandra Stafford, a foster carer for Conwy County Borough Council
Sandra was nominated for the award by social workers Danielle Dally and Sarah Vater
“Exceptional foster carers” Sandra and her husband Mark have been fostering since 2001, demonstrating commitment and passion, and providing a high quality of care. One foster child was placed with the family after her release from hospital. Sandra, as the child’s main carer, is faced with daily challenges, but the child has been welcomed with open arms and provided with love, stability and compassion, enabling her to make significant progress in her recovery. The child has been provided with a safe and loving home environment, acceptance, and opportunities to enjoy a second chance and achieve her full potential.
What our sponsors say:
Graham Miles, Partner at Blake Morgan, sponsor of the Working with and listening to people living with dementia category, said: “We have sponsored the Accolades over many years as part of our corporate social responsibility programme, an integral part of our business philosophy which aims to make a difference for our clients, our people and our communities.
“This year’s sponsorship is particularly pertinent, given the extraordinary year it has been and the hugely difficult challenges faced by those working in social care, early years and childcare. It is so important that their fantastic efforts are recognised and celebrated, given the vital role they have played, and continue to play, in keeping our loved ones and our communities safe. This particularly applies to some of the most vulnerable people in our society, which includes those people living with dementia. We are therefore delighted in playing some part in helping raise the profile of the excellent work that’s being done.”
City & Guilds and WJEC, sponsor of the Improving care and support at home together category said: “As the sole provider of the new suite of fundable Health and Social Care, and Childcare qualifications in Wales, City & Guilds/WJEC are proud to be sponsoring the annual ‘Accolades 2020’ awards.
“Our new qualifications have been designed to drive up standards and promote excellence within the health and social care, and childcare sector. As a sponsor for the ‘Improving care and support at home together’ category, we look forward to recognising and rewarding individuals who have worked collaboratively to support the wellbeing of people living in their own home.
“City & Guilds/WJEC strongly believe in empowering people with opportunities for the future, and value ‘the Accolades 2020’ as a public opportunity to celebrate the exemplary work of individuals, organisations, groups and teams working within the social care, early years and childcare sector in Wales.”
Data Cymru, sponsor of the Developing and inspiring the workforce of tomorrow category said: “It’s an honour to be able to support the 2020 Accolades, to celebrate the hard work and achievements of those at the sharp end of social care, early years and childcare provision.
“Having provided data collection and analysis support to Social Care Wales over many years to help them better understand and support the workforce, we recognise the vital role that the workforce plays in delivering exceptional services. We are very pleased therefore to sponsor the award that recognises those who are developing and inspiring the workforce of tomorrow.“