Llandudno Carer Battles Through Blizzard to Get to her Work

CCaring Heather Jasper is in the running for an award after she battled her way through a blizzard to get to work.

Heather was so determined to carry out her duties that she persuaded a neighbouring farmer to give her a lift on a tractor, and her colleagues were amazed and delighted at her initiative.

That kind of dedication and determination has now put 57-year-old Heather in line for a prestigious award.

She has been shortlisted in the category for Leadership and Management in Supported Living in this year’s Wales Care Awards, organised by Care Forum Wales. The category is sponsored by Act/ Smartcare.

The aim of the awards scheme is to acknowledge and reward  people with the X Factor in the care sector and the ceremony will be held at City Hall, Cardiff, on October 18.

Heather, who lives in Llanelian, near Colwyn Bay, is a supervisor with the Llandudno-based Calon Lan Community Care and is responsible for the Llandudno-Colwyn Bay coastal area. She is the company’s lead supervisor on dementia and palliative care packages.

She was nominated by Area Manager Lucie Williams, who described her as “so inspiring and committed to care”, leading by example.

“Our service users trust Heather and have an excellent rapport with her, and our care workers see her as a great leader, someone to go to for advice and support in their job role,” said Lucie.

Before entering the caring profession in 2005 Heather worked in an accountancy office and was manager of a Llanddulas caravan park.

But her experience of caring for her mother, who suffered from dementia, convinced her she should have a change of career.

“I wish I had done it many years ago,” she said.

She has been with Calon Lane since 2009 and finds the job extremely rewarding.

“It’s good to know when one makes a difference to someone’s life, even if it isn’t permanent,” she said.

In her spare time Heather, who has three children and two grandchildren, enjoys outdoor activities including swimming and walking.

But Lucie recognises that Heather has little time to enjoy such activities.

“She doesn’t have a ‘clocking off’ time and will not finish her day’s work until her tasks are complete and she is satisfied,” she said.

Heather is so highly thought of that she was offered promotion to Assistant Manager within the company but she turned it down because she did not want to lose the daily contact with the service users.

Another example of her devotion to duty and professionalism came 18 months ago when she refused to take time off despite losing her brother-in-law to cancer and her sister also being diagnosed with the disease.

“Her response was always that she had things to do and that people needed her,” said Lucie.

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.