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2024 Accolades awards ceremony, winners and finalists

Who were the 2024 Accolades winners and finalists? Find out here and watch the 2024 ceremony.

Watch the awards ceremony

The 2024 Accolades awards ceremony were held on 25 April 2024 at Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel.

The ceremony was hosted by broadcaster Garry Owen and our Chief Executive Sue Evans, and streamed live over YouTube

The ceremony was also translated into British Sign Language and our interpreters for the ceremony were Adrian Bailey and Stephen Brattan-Wilson.

Watch the 2024 Accolades ceremony on YouTube.

2024 Accolades winners and finalists

Eight projects and 10 individuals or teams were by our panel of judges as finalists for the 2024 Accolades across six categories.

Building bright futures for children and families


Born into Care, Swansea Council

This multi-agency project, which is run by Swansea Council’s Child and Family Services, supports parents who are at risk of having their child taken into care, from the early stages of pregnancy through to the child’s birth and beyond. Parents are offered enhanced antenatal care, parenting support and practical help, intensive home visits and group support. The project uses a strengths-based, solution-focused approach and places families’ voices and experiences at the heart of what they do.

Highly commended finalist:

Child to Adult Team, Flintshire County Council

This project by Flintshire’s adults’ social services supports children and young people with learning disabilities, aged between 0 to 25 years, their siblings and their families and carers to achieve what matters to them. The support offered ranges from emotional support for parents, home adaptations, help dealing with challenging behaviours to supporting older teenagers with further education, supported living and employment. The project works closely with a diverse range of partners including children’s services, Barnado’s and Theatr Clwyd.

Effective leadership award


Sandra Stacey, a residential care home manager at Flintshire County Council

Nominated by Janet Bellis, Senior Manager Integrated Services, Lead Adults at Flintshire County Council.

Residential care home manager Sandra has been nominated for her dedication to providing person-centred care and making sure the well-being of the care home’s residents are at the forefront of her decision making. Janet says Sandra’s values epitomise those of the local authority and her compassionate leadership style applies to everyone she comes into contact with – from the care home’s staff to its residents and their families.

Janet says Sandra approaches her managerial role in an exemplary way by always using a ‘can-do’ approach, and she’s built a productive team that feels empowered and takes pride in its work. Having achieved Flintshire Social Services’ Progress for Providers silver award in April 2023, the home was awarded gold accreditation just four weeks later.

Janet says Sandra “has built a reputation as being able to rise to any challenge positively and consistently, inspiring team members at all levels to achieve their best”. Janet adds: “Sandra is a very trustworthy person who always delivers the best outcomes for her residents [and] staff, and is a shining example of compassionate leadership.”

Highly commended finalists:

Julie Reed, Day Service Manager, and the Complex Needs Day Service Team at Cardiff Council

Nominated by Eve Williams, Integrated Operational Change Manager at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

Julie has been nominated for her work leading a team providing a range of day opportunities to people aged 18 and over with a learning disability and additional complex needs in Cardiff. Julie and her team have had a significant impact on the people they support through their person-centred, ‘can-do’ attitude and approach.

Eve says Julie’s leadership has had a positive impact on the young people the team supports and their families by helping them make informed choices and manage any anxieties as the young people reach adulthood. It’s also had a positive effect on schools by showing staff the possibilities available to young people.

Eve says Julie’s also influenced senior managers who’ve been able to make informed decisions for people with learning disabilities based on the outcomes Julie’s presented, as well as regional partners who’ve learned from Julie’s approach and started to apply her principles and approaches in their own areas.

Eve describes Julie as “truly inspirational” and says her “leadership, commitment and passion is contagious”. Eve adds that Julie and her team “have changed attitudes across the workforce and families, and delivered exceptional transformational change”.

Lauren Lincez, Service Director and Responsible Individual at Partnerships for Progress Ltd in Bridgend

Nominated by Wendy Edwards and Danielle Lewis, HR Officer and Senior Family Support Worker at Partnerships for Progress Ltd.

Lauren works for a residential family centre, which monitors and assesses parents’ ability to look after their children.

Lauren joined the centre in July 2021 while it was closed after Care Inspectorate Wales issued it with an improvement notice. Lauren rose to the challenge and helped the centre build strong foundations and put a new culture and values in place. Since it reopened in December 2021, the improvement notice has been removed and the centre has had two positive inspections.

Wendy and Danielle say Lauren makes sure the parents have as much control as possible over how the parenting programme is provided to them to make sure it meets their needs.

Wendy describes Lauren as “an inspiring role model” who has “created a person-centred, open, honest and transparent culture… [and an] environment where staff and residents feel safe”. Wendy adds that “Lauren has extremely high… standards” and that “she focuses heavily on partnering the families we support”.

Wendy and Danielle say Lauren “is a kind, thoughtful, driven, passionate individual, and her commitment to children, families and staff is truly outstanding and inspirational. She is an excellent role model... and she thoroughly deserves this nomination in recognition for what has been achieved since reopening in December 2021.”

Looking after and improving workforce well-being

Sponsored by BASW Cymru


Antur Waunfawr

This Caernarfon-based social enterprise provides employment, training, and health and well-being opportunities to people with learning disabilities. Staff health and well-being is a priority. Its HR team have all been trained as well-being facilitators, staff can access counselling, physiotherapy, debt management and nutritional support, and they can take part in regular well-being activities such as walking and pilates, too. All staff are offered a sickness package, regardless of the type or length of their employment. Recognising that financial stress and job uncertainty can affect staff well-being, the enterprise has also put a career pathway in place to help them develop and progress their careers.

Highly commended finalists:

Action for Children, Vale Short Breaks – Tŷ Robin Goch

When managers at Action for Children’s Vale Short Breaks – Tŷ Robin Gochpicked up that some staff were struggling with the cost-of-living crisis, the organisation decided it needed to provide practical support alongside the support networks and schemes staff are directed to. So, it introduced a staff pantry filled with essentials that staff could use, which is restocked on a monthly basis, two weeks before payday. The organisation also recognises its workers by asking staff to anonymously nominate their colleagues for its ‘staff member of the month’ accolade. The staff member with the most nominations each month gets a voucher.

Powys Children’s Services

Concerned about the effect the Covid-19 pandemic was having on staff well-being, Powys Children’s Services sent staff a survey in summer 2022 to find out what staff thought about the organisation’s well-being support. The survey’s results have shaped new initiatives to support staff well-being, such as one-to-one decompression sessions to support newly-qualified social workers and debriefing sessions for staff and carers who’ve been exposed to distressing information or experienced traumatic events. The organisation also held its first staff well-being event in October, where staff had the chance to try new tools and resources to support their well-being.

WeCare Wales award

Sponsored by WeCare Wales


Linda Campbell, Care Worker for Cerecare N&DS Ltd in Lampeter

Nominated by Cynthia Golder, Cerecare N&DS’s Office and Finance Manager.

Linda has worked for Cerecare for almost four years and in that time has proved invaluable to the people she provides care and support to, their families and the organisation. Cynthia says Linda, 71, can always be relied upon, no matter what, and that she’s been known to walk to the homes of the people she provides care and support to in the snow and ice to make sure they receive their visit.

Cynthia says that while Linda has worked in care for years, Linda’s still happy to learn new things and to share her knowledge with others, and this is appreciated by her colleagues who are keen to learn from the example Linda sets. Cynthia says Linda’s willingness to volunteer to work each Christmas so her colleagues can spend time with their families has not gone unnoticed.

Cynthia says that Linda’s “dedication, empathy and commitment to her work is an inspiration to all” and that she’s “truly appreciated”. One of the people Linda provides care to adds that Linda is “a damn good worker. I couldn’t fault her at all.”

While a family member of another person Linda provides care and support to describes her as “kind, caring [and] well organised” and says she “can absolutely be depended upon. I cannot thank her enough as it means such a lot to me to know my mum is in such safe hands.”

Highly commended finalists:

Nichola Wilcox, Dementia Lead at Bloomfield Residential Care Home in Swansea

Nominated by Sue Evans, whose mother was a resident at the care home.

Sue says that “it’s the mix of professionalism and personal qualities that makes Nichola so special”.

Sue describes Nichola as looking out for and after her mother who was living with dementia “with genuine care, affection and professionalism” and says “it was plain to see [my mother] felt safe and she felt loved”.

Sue says Nichola and her team make sure the home is a happy, welcoming and vibrant environment that’s calm and respectful when it needs to be, but lively and fun for residents, too. Sue says the atmosphere Nichola creates with her staff is about respect, understanding and working with residents’ strengths and interests. Nichola’s also very focused on the small things that make a difference, such as personal hygiene and grooming.

When Sue’s mother’s eyesight deteriorated, Nichola would get up close and look into Sue’s mother’s eyes when she talked to her, which helped create an “amazing bond”. Sue says the family also appreciated the many photos Nichola would send them of Sue’s mother enjoying herself at the home.

Rachel Hunt, Childcare Liaison Officer at Vale of Glamorgan Council

Nominated by Claire Urch, Early Years and Childcare Manager at Vale of Glamorgan Council.

Rachel was nominated by Claire for her work finding suitable childcare provision that meets children’s and families’ needs. Claire says that during her visits, Rachel will look at the family’s holistic needs and will refer or signpost them to other relevant services for extra support.

Claire adds that when Rachel identifies that extra support is needed, she will act immediately to support the family and will stay in touch with them to make sure they’re fully involved. Rachel is also able to allocate food bank vouchers to vulnerable families that she identifies during her home visits.

Rachel has set up processes with tight timelines for contacting and visiting families for the team to help make sure parents access their entitlement to funded childcare. Rachel also seeks feedback from parents and schools to find out how she can improve the placement process and support the transition from childcare to school.

Claire describes Rachel as “calm, caring and unassuming”, which she says has helped Rachel “build amazing relationships with the families and professionals she works with”. Claire adds that “Rachel goes above and beyond when visiting families” and “is always motivated and extremely passionate.”

Victoria Jones, a social worker in Pembrokeshire County Council’s Children with Disabilities Care Management Team

Nominated by Paul Regimbal, Team Manager at Pembrokeshire County Council’s Integrated Family Support Service.

Children’s social worker Victoria has a complex caseload of families with children with disabilities who experience significant vulnerabilities.

Paul says Victoria has spent hours of her own time in a professional capacity meeting the needs of the vulnerable young people she supports. This support can range from completing court reports to volunteering to provide care in hospitals when a young person needs an adult present to meet their safety and well-being needs.

Paul says Victoria has received parental hostility when trying to safeguard their children, but she navigates the challenges with compassion, empathy and respect. Victoria always remains professional and ready to support each family member, individually and as a whole.

Paul says “Victoria goes above and beyond daily” and describes her as “dedicated, conscientious, caring, committed and flawless in her determination” to make sure the children she works with are safeguarded, happy and valued.

Working in partnership

Sponsored by Life Sciences Hub Wales


Newport Strategic Partnership

This partnership between Newport City Council and Barnardo’s Cymru provides support to families with children who are on the edge of care or at risk of placement breakdown. The partnership works alongside more than 650 children and young people, their families and social work teams to bring about positive change. Its specialist interventions include services that support expectant parents whose babies are at risk of being born into care, a rapid response team that helps prevent family breakdowns, and forums where the young people and parents it supports can get involved in coproducing the partnership’s developments.

Highly commended finalists:

Flintshire County Council Micro-Care

This groundbreaking approach helps small enterprises provide care and support in the Flintshire area. In partnership with Social Firms Wales, the project supports people who’ve shown an interest in running their own social care business by giving them practical advice about operating in the social care sector, support with becoming an accredited micro-carer and specialist business advice. The project has strengthened the local care market by providing different care and support options, such as tailored day services, respite, direct care and well-being support.

North Wales Together: Learning Disability Transformation Programme

A partnership between citizens, six local authorities and Betsi Cadwalader University Health Board, North Wales Together aims to transform services for people with learning disabilities and improve their lives. Its activities include supporting people with learning disabilities to gain paid employment and access everyday technology, as well as developing and funding activities for people with learning disabilities and their families to improve well-being and increase community connection. It’s also coproduced a peer-led health check that employs people with learning disabilities to promote health checks to other people with learning disabilities and their families.

Working to the principles of strengths-based practice


Becky Evans, Powys Team Leader at Credu

Nominated by Sally Duckers, WCD Young Carers Team Leader and Credu Campaigns Coordinator.

Becky was nominated by Sally for being “a driving force in our organisation with regards to strengths-based practice”. Sally says Becky’s applied a strengths-based approach in all her interactions with the organisation’s managers, trustees, staff, volunteers, commissioners and funders.

Sally says Becky has adapted the organisation’s systems to capture unpaid carers’ stories, especially their strengths, and thanks to Becky’s work, carers’ voices are now at the centre of the organisation’s work. Becky’s also created ‘The Carers’ Story’, a case study that showcases the impact of the organisation’s work with unpaid carers, recognising the strengths and the support networks families bring to their own stories.

Additionally, Sally says Becky’s helped make sure the organisation’s collaborative communication training is as easy as possible for people to take part in. Becky is also leading on a creative respite project, which focuses on the things unpaid carers and their loved ones can do, and helps them access respite opportunities.

Highly commended finalists:

Joey Ayris, Community Partner Tenby and Saundersfoot at Mencap Cymru

Nominated by Charlotte Ede, Mencap Cymru’s Community Development Lead.

Joey works tirelessly alongside care homes, nurseries and day services across Tenby and Saundersfoot to make sure people with learning disabilities are at the centre of community activity and decision making so they can live happy and healthy lives.

Joey gets to know the people she supports as individuals, making sure they have a platform to share their gifts and skills. Charlotte says Joey’s made a huge impact on the people she supports by coproducing new and accessible community activities with them. These include the Saundersfoot Social, a weekly social event that brings organisations and community members together. Joey works hard to make sure people with lived experience have formal and informal volunteering opportunities, too.

Joey’s also worked alongside more than 10 small local organisations to help them find funding to get new ideas off the ground. These ideas have included a drumming group, inclusive surfing lessons, a gaming club, day trips and music sessions.

When pool sessions for people with a learning disability were stopped, Charlotte says Joey contacted a Welsh Government-funded organisation that agreed to fund the sessions so they could restart. This has had a profound impact on those who’d missed the sessions and whose routines had been disrupted by the closure.

RITA Project Team, Wrexham County Borough Council

Nominated by Steve Latham-White, Interim Lead Commissioner at Wrexham County Borough Council.

The RITA Project Team, which stands for reminiscence interactive therapy activity, is a digital therapy system that gives people who use care and support access to apps, games, music, photos and other activities to improve their well-being on a touchscreen device.

The devices can be tailored for each individual to provide meaningful activities based on what they like – it could be the song from the first dance at their wedding to photos of family and friends.

The devices have been given to all Wrexham’s care homes and they’re now available in ambulances, in the local hospital, the well-being hub and in some day care settings to provide people who use care and support with consistency when they change environments. It also helps staff who come into contact with the person better understand them.

Staff have noticed that the people’s moods and interaction levels have positively improved, and those who normally wouldn’t be able to concentrate for long periods are more visibly engaged when using the devices.

Our sponsors

Main sponsor

Hugh James

Hugh James is a top 100, full-service law firm headquartered in Cardiff.

Our team has now grown to more than 700 lawyers and support staff and over 90 partners, covering a diverse range of legal specialisms, but we have maintained a very active presence in the care sector in Wales.

The firm’s work in the sector includes:

  • providing advice and representation to public authorities throughout Wales in Children Act and Court of Protection proceedings
  • advising public authorities, sports bodies and many other organisations on safeguarding
  • acting for care providers in property, corporate, commercial and regulatory matters
  • acting for the sectors regulators, including Social Care Wales.

Category sponsors

BASW Cymru

Sponsor of ‘Looking after and improving workforce well-being’ category

The British Association of Social Work (Cymru) is THE professional association for social workers in Wales.

As a membership organisation, our role is to support members in their day-to-day practice, campaign on key issues relating to social work and to influence government policy and legislation across Wales. We are the professional association for social work and social workers.

Life Sciences Hub Wales

Sponsor of ‘Working in Partnership’ category

At Life Sciences Hub Wales, we drive the development and adoption of life science innovation in health and social care in Wales. 

We act as a dynamic interface, connecting life science innovators with research partners, funding opportunities and ultimately with the front-line health and social care, the end users. And because we’re in continual dialogue with all of these groups, we’re able to make sure that we make the biggest impact by supporting innovations that address the most vital needs.

Ultimately, our work helps not only with the mental and physical well-being of people living in Wales, propelling new innovations into mainstream use, but it also generates growth, jobs, and prosperity across our nation.

WeCare Wales

Sponsor of the WeCare Wales award

WeCare Wales is a major bilingual, multi-media initiative developed by Social Care Wales, working with a range of national and local organisations involved in different aspects of social care, early years and childcare.

It aims to raise awareness and understanding of social care, early years and childcare and attract more people with the right skills and values to work in caring roles with children and adults.

WeCare Wales aims to show the variety of roles and career progression opportunities available. By using real care workers, it focuses on the challenges they face, as well as what makes their work rewarding and worthwhile.

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First published: 21 September 2023
Last updated: 25 April 2024
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