An activities organiser is in the running for a major national award after bridging the generation gap at a care home.
Ceri Powell, who works at Hafod Care’s Brocastle Manor Home, in Bridgend, is always open to new ideas and innovations and that has now put her in line for a prestigious award.
She has been shortlisted in the Category for Excellence in Dementia Care in this year’s Wales Care Awards, organised by Care Forum Wales to recognise outstanding service in the care sector.
The awards will be presented at a ceremony in City Hall, Cardiff, on November 17 which will be hosted by singer and presenter Wynne Evans, popularly known as Gio Compario in the Go Compare TV advert.
Ceri, 58, from Pencoed, introduced an audit tool to assess the quality of life outcomes for all service-users and has devised a dementia-friendly action plan for Brocastle Manor, working closely to engage the local community.
One such activity has been to involve students from nearby Atlantic College who visit the home on weekly basis to chat one-to-one or engage in group activities with the residents.
“Home staff have reported a significant reduction in distressed reactions for the dementia service users who have participated in the activities,” said Marc.
Another innovation is Book Cwtch in which residents meet each week to read and review literature and poetry, and Ceri also reviews newspaper articles, short stories and other items.
Ceri has worked in the care field for 20 years, was stunned but delighted to be shortlisted after being nominated by Marc Pullen-James, currently manager of Brocastle Manor.
She started work at Southerndown Care Home but transferred nine years ago to Brocastle, which has a total of 80 residents with different needs, including dementia sufferers, and in a number of different units.
She has been responsible for co-ordinating activities from the outset and the home’s management team was unanimous in nominating her because she was seen as an outstanding role model.
“She values choice, dignity and respect for all, in all areas of her professional practice,” said Marc.
Ceri is a former chair of the PTA at Pencoed High School and believes that is where she picked up many of her organisational skills.
She herself derives great pleasure and job satisfaction from enhancing the residents’ lives.
“It’s lovely to see the difference one makes to them, and though I am amazed to have been nominated – and I know it’s a cliché – but it really is a team effort because it would be impossible to do it without the support from everyone in the home,” she said.
In her spare time she enjoys listening to music and eating out.
Mario Kreft MBE, the Chair of Care Forum Wales, said the Wales Care Awards had gone from strength to strength.
He said: “The event is now firmly established as one of the highlights in the Welsh social care calendar.
“The aim is to recognise the unstinting and often remarkable dedication of our unsung heroes and heroines across Wales.
“The care sector is full of wonderful people because it’s not just a job it’s a vocation – these are the people who really do have the X Factor.
“If you don’t recognise the people who do the caring you will never provide the standards that people need and never recognise the value of the people who need the care in society.
“We need to do all we can to raise the profile of the care sector workforce – they deserve to be lauded and applauded.
“It is a pleasure to honour the contribution of all the finalists. Each and every one of them should be very proud of their achievement.”