Care worker overcomes shyness to scoop award

A care assistant from Merthyr
Vale whose dedication to her residents helped her overcome her own shyness has
been honoured for her work.

Julie Sheen, who works at
Greenhill Manor Care Home in Merthyr Tydfil, was awarded bronze at this year’s
prestigious Wales Care Awards. Run
by Care Forum Wales and held at the City Hall in Cardiff, the national awards
aim to recognise the hard work and dedication of those in the care sector.

Known for her lively, fun
personality and sense of humour when working with her elderly residents, the
59-year-old was recognised in the award’s Outstanding Service category,
sponsored by the Silvercrest Group.

But before starting her career
in social care 11 years ago, Julie was actually quiet and shy. “I used to be
very shy and at times I still can be, but I really do think that working at
Greenhill Manor has helped to bring me out of my own shell and grown my
confidence,” the grandmother-of-four explained.

Speaking about her Wales Care
Award, Julie said she was totally surprised to discover she had been put
forward.  “Nothing like this has never happened to me before. Working as a
care assistant can be challenging but it is so fulfilling and there isn’t
anything I wouldn’t do for my residents.”

Having previously worked
part-time in a post office in Merthyr Vale, Julie had never considered a career
in care work until she went for an interview at Greenhill Manor, a 120-bed care
home that specialises in dementia care.

Julie, who has been married to
Terrence for 40 years, believes that finding her vocation in a job she loves
has helped her overcome her own shyness. And she says it is her love of the
residents under her care that has been the key to her success.

“As a care assistant, I have
to take charge and be there for the residents and this has brought me out of
myself and it is so wonderful. They get to know you and trust you and it is so
important to keep things normal.

“I really like just spending
some time with someone, sitting and talking to them, being silly.  And it
makes my day to see how the residents respond to me, it really does make it all

The dedicated care assistant
was nominated for the Wales Care Awards by her co-worker, Amanda Francis, who
said that Julie deserved to be recognised for her professionalism and
commitment to Greenhill’s residents.

“Julie always wants the best
for our residents and goes above and beyond her duties on a daily basis, going
out of her way to make sure they have a fulfilled day.  She is also a
massive role model to her colleagues, and everyone loves her,” Amanda added.

Congratulating Julie on her
award success, Mario Kreft, chairman of Care Forum Wales, said the standard of
entries for this year’s Wales Care Awards was extremely high.

“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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