Three years after picking up a prestigious award a Llantrisant woman is now in line for a second honour after being hailed as a “hero and a role model”.
For despite being promoted to a more senior position Helen Rees has shown that she has not lost the “common touch”, a quality which has earned her the admiration of her colleagues.
Helen, 52, has been shortlisted for one of this year’s Wales Care Awards which are organized by Care Forum Wales to recognize exceptional work in the care sector.
The presentation ceremony will be held at City Hall, Cardiff, on October 19 and Helen has been shortlisted in the category for outstanding service, which is sponsored by Hallmark Care Homes.
In 2015 she received a silver award in the category for Residential and Child Care. At the time she was registered manager Tŷ Coryton, a residential school in Cardiff for young people with autistic spectrum condition and challenging behaviour.
The school is run by Orbis Education and Care, which is responsible for care and education of children and adults with autism and learning disabilities. Helen joined the company in 2011 having trained as a mental health nurse and registered learning disability nurse, and two years ago became the company’s Director of Operations.
She was nominated for the current award by Matt James, Orbis’ area manager for adult services, who said the nomination was supported by the entire group of managers.
“Helen is always the first person to roll up her sleeves in order to help staff to make the lives of our service users the best they can possibly be,” he said.
“She is supportive, nurturing and proactive in getting staff to feel motivated, enabled and enthusiastic to make the lives of our service users happy and full of enjoyment and opportunity.
“Helen will drop her busy schedule at the drop of a hat to help a service users undertake a meaningful and enjoyable activity,” said Matt. “No request is too big and no action too small if the end product is that the day is more enjoyable for the person she has helped.
“She is a hero and a role model to all in the organization,” he added.
Ian Woodington, registered manager at Ty Coryton, said that Helen had had a hugely positive impact on his own career and on his Colleagues.
“The support she has given me has been amazing, allowing me to progress to my current position. By sharing her vision, which she has instilled in us, we are able to help our service users have a valuable role in society,” he said.
Helen said she liked to consider herself approachable despite being Director of Operations.
“I don’t like standing on ceremony,” she commented.
In her spare time Helen, who is married and has a daughter of 18, enjoys walking her dog and also attending live music concerts.
Mario Kreft MBE, the Chair of Care Forum Wales, said the Wales Care Awards had gone from strength to strength.
He said: “This year’s ceremony is an even more special occasion because it marks the 15th anniversary of the awards and the 25th anniversary of Care Forum Wales, and the event is now firmly established as one of the highlights in the Welsh social care calendar.
“The aim is to recognize 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 recognize the people who do the caring you will never provide the standards that people need and never recognize 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,” he added.