A busy mum praised for her dedication to making a difference to the lives of those she supports is in line for a social care Oscar.
Welsh speaking Kelly Pirotte, 39, from Ystradgynlais, Swansea, has been shortlisted in n the Commitment to Training and Workforce Development category, sponsored by Cardiff and Vale College, at the prestigious Wales Care Awards.
She is Head of Learning and Development for the Accomplish Group, who are specialist providers of support for people with autism, mental health needs, learning disabilities and acquired brain injuries and who provide flexible care in registered residential, hospital and supported living settings.
Kelly who also has a disabled son said: “Having a child who requires additional needs, allows me to be more empathetic in my role, it helps me understand the families better and the challenges they face.
“Like all working mums, I’m busy, but I’m really passionate about learning and development and I like to keep as positive as I can.
“It helps me get things done.”
Academic Kelly, who has an MSc in Business Management and also has CIPD chartered status, worked in a variety of roles in the education sector before starting with Accomplish in 2015.
“I am very, very pleased to be shortlisted, and very excited to be going to the ceremony,” said Kelly.
This year is the 15th anniversary of the Wales Care Awards, and Kelly will attend the glittering ceremony which takes place at City Hall, Cardiff, on October 19. This year also marks the 25th anniversary of Care Forum Wales, who organise the awards.
Kelly was nominated by Gemma Howells, Marketing and Events Manager at Accomplish, who said: “Kelly is passionate about people and making a difference.
“She is committed to improving the service provided to both staff and the people we support. I have worked with Kelly for the last four years and feel she deserves this recognition for her outstanding commitment she has shown to Training and Workforce Development.
“Kelly recognises that our people are by far and away our most valuable asset and that our high standards of care can only be met by carefully selected, motivated and able individuals.
“She has worked tirelessly to develop robust systems and processes and has completely overhauled the training department.”
One of Kelly’s biggest achievements in her role is the recently developed ‘Yr Hwb’ (The Hub), which offers courses and a place to meet for individuals that Accomplish support.
Kelly explained: “Yr Hwb was started up because I felt that drop-in type centres that we used to have are now missing from the community; I felt it would be nice to have somewhere where people can get together and have some fun and have positive experiences and just smile really!
“We set it up to have different things on different days. We have a singing group, a performing arts group, as well as IT groups, health and beauty, nail groups – there is all kinds going on, and we cater for people of all abilities.
“It’s an amazing group, we have some really good things going on there and it’s just good energy really.”
Gemma Howells added: “The Hwb is an inspirational idea that is positively impacting on the lives of the people we support. Kelly is now in the process of duplicating this innovative approach in our England services.
“Kelly is passionate about Learning and Development and is committed to improving the service provided to both staff and the people we support.”
“I like to try and be as positive as I can, and I hope it rubs off on other people.
“I have a glass half full attitude, hopefully that is what people will carry on with when they leave our service.”
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 Wales Care 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 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.”