Wales Care Award for Soft Furnishings Assistant

A grandmother from Gwersyllt has won a prestigious award for bringing comfort and colour to lives of people living in a care home.

Judy Twidale, 55, is soft furnishings assistant at the Pendine Park care organisation which has seven care homes in Wrexham and one in Caernarfon.

She won a bronze award at the annual Wales Care Awards, at City Hall, Cardiff.

Judy was honoured in the category for Commitment to Quality in Housekeeping and Hospitality which was sponsored by Care Inn Ltd.

The host at this year’s glittering event was Wynne Evans, familiar from the Go Compare TV advertisements and for his daily show on Radio Wales.

Judy had said her nomination “came as a complete surprise.”

Before taking up her present post Judy was for many years a laundry assistant then housekeeper at Pendine Park.

Judy had explained: “Even if a resident is here for a few weeks, or if long-term, we like them to choose their furnishings as they would in their own home. If they like purple, for instance, then that will be the colour.

“Everyone has a favourite colour, and it can make a difference to life. I hope I am making things nice for our residents and helping to change lives in the best way we can.”

Judy has three children, a son and two daughters, all grown up, and two grandchildren. One daughter is a health care assistant at Wrexham Maelor Hospital and a son is a corporal in the Royal Marines who has served in Afghanistan.

Offering a home from home is very much part of the Pendine mantra, and providing tasteful surroundings forms part of this. Judy was nominated by Pendine’s consultant artist-in-residence, Sarah Edwards.

“Judy helps to make the cushions, blinds and curtains and I liaise with the homes. If residents have particular colour preferences we consult  with each person to ensure they have a choice and feel involved,” said Sarah.

“Sometimes Judy will chat to families so that she can help deal with specific requests. We try to accommodate any requests within reason.

“She has been training with our soft furnishings manager to be involved with the whole process, from measuring up and cutting out to finishing off with hand stitching.”

“Originally Judy worked in our laundry department, has gone through various areas of the business but showed an interest in our soft furnishings department so we agreed to take her on to train her in the necessary skills.

“Judy is excellent at her job, she really understands the ethos behind what we are trying to achieve at Pendine, to make a home from home for our residents to enjoy.  Judy has a lovely, friendly approach, she’s kind to the residents and wants a home to look as good as it possibly can.

“Judy was nominated because of her commitment to the organisation and her understanding of how important it is to have a lovely, homely environment.”

The main sponsors of the annual awards event were Ontex Healthcare and Barchester Jobs.

Mario Kreft, chairman of Care Forum Wales, said the standard of entries was extremely high.

He added: “There are only winners here tonight so it is only fitting that the finalists will receive a gold, silver or bronze Wales Care Award.

“I trust that they will continue to inspire those around them as role models and encourage others to aspire to even greater heights and in the months and years to come.

“This awards ceremony is our opportunity to pay tribute and to celebrate the talent and commitment that is improving the quality of life for thousands and thousands of people throughout Wales.

”We take our hats off to them.”

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