A former teaching assistant who now helps young people who are deaf and blind live life to the full is celebrating a place in the final of a national awards contest.
Jordan Probert, a specialist intervenor and team leader with Sense Cymru based in Caerphilly, has been shortlisted for the Promoting Fulfilled Lives category, sponsored by Boots Healthcare, in the Wales Care Awards 2019.
The 32-year-old, from Maesycwmmer, Hengoed, has worked in social care for the past 12 years but has never regarded his work as a “job”, instead likening it to a “way of life”.
Despite usually shunning the limelight and avoiding self-praise, Jordan will now attend a glittering awards ceremony at Cardiff City Hall on Friday, October 18, which will be hosted by tenor and radio presenter Wynne Evans, better known as Gio Compario from the Go Compare TV adverts.
The national awards are organised by care industry champions Care Forum Wales and acknowledge the exceptional work and dedication of those in the care sector.
Jordan, who was nominated by Kate Wright, Touchbase Wales manager, said: “I feel very proud. I’m not one to sing my own praises and I haven’t got the gift of the gab. For me, it’s all about being person-centred and always putting people first.
“Initially I wanted to be a fireman. I fell straight into a job but I’ve never regretted it since. The guys I support wouldn’t have the opportunities they get without people like us.
“I feel like I’m making a difference every day.”
Kate Wright said: “Jordan has been recognised for his hard work and dedication because he always goes above and beyond for the needs of our service users. His motto ‘always a pleasure, never a chore’ is very true to the way he works day in day out.”’
Jordan, a former Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni pupil, studied children’s care and learning development at Ystrad Mynach College.
His first job was supporting children with learning difficulties as a teaching assistant at Trinity Fields School and Resource Centre in Caerphilly.
After six years, he completed a multi-sensory intervenor course and began supporting a child who was deafblind. Through his work he was introduced to Sense Cymru and eventually was recruited by the team as a specialist intervenor to support other deafblind young people in day care settings, at home and within the community.
One of the most rewarding aspects of his work has been supporting a young man with a life-limiting illness who is unable to leave his home and receives round-the-clock care from his mum.
In just four visits, Jordan had made a positive impact on the young man, helping him to access sensory equipment and adapted technology he has never used before. He also discovered that he enjoys reggae music and has helped him communicate his likes and dislikes.
“I’ve been working with him for two years and I’ve seen a big difference. He’s more alert and willing to take part in the activities. I feel very grateful to his mum for allowing me to become part of the family and giving her someone else to rely on,” he said.
“I’ve definitely found my niche. I do my office work but I’m back out on the shop floor as soon as possible and that’s really what I enjoy.
“I was really surprised to be nominated. It’s not something I would put myself forward for, for me this is a way of life, it’s not a job.”
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.”