Cardiff and the Vale Care & Support Partnership: Inaugural Awards Presentation Evening

A special event has been held to recognise individual care workers who have demonstrated true excellence. 


Hosted by event sponsors Cardiff and Vale College, at its City Centre Campus in Cardiff, and compered by BBC Cymru Wales presenter, Behnaz Akhgar, the awards also celebrated carers who have successfully completed their Health and Social Care qualifications. 

Speaking at the event on behalf of Cardiff Council and the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Cabinet Member for Social Care, Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Susan Elsmore, said: "It is a real pleasure and a privilege to be at the inaugural Cardiff and the Vale Care & Support Regional Workforce Partnership awards. I want personally to applaud all of our carers for their hard work, dedication and commitment. Quite simply, we couldn't do it without them - our councils cannot do this alone; it's vital we work in partnership with the wider social care workforce. 

"This is a genuine and powerful partnership between Cardiff Council and the Vale of Glamorgan Council, and we fully support and recognise the invaluable work of carers, their focus on improving personal well-being, and providing the care that people need. 

"I sincerely hope that holding this event demonstrates our commitment to the sector. Indeed, we want this to be a further step on the journey to improving the status of social care workers, as well as encouraging new members into the sector." 

Following a celebratory reception, Kay Martin, Principal, Cardiff and Vale College and The Right Hon Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Bob Derbyshire formerly welcomed guests to the presentation evening, after which, Her Worship the Mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan, Janice Charles said a few words, before the awards themselves got underway. 

In a video shown on the night, 28 year old domiciliary care branch manager, Holy, spoke about how she first started as a carer: "I started care in 2010. I kind of fell into care, it wasn't something that I was looking for at the time. I was 20 years old, I was a checkout operator for a supermarket, working part-time, as I was caring for my mother at the time. 

"A gentleman came through my checkout and he was quite happy, he was bouncing around, he was whistling and you could see he was really enjoying his day. Me, being a nosy 20 year old, asked him why was he so happy, and he basically told me that he's working, and he loves his job and he's got lots to smile about. So I asked him, what does he do for a living, and he told me he was a carer. 

"Quite naive at that age, I didn't really know what a carer was. I knew of care homes, but I didn't know of domiciliary care. He explained it's anything from personal care to shopping, domestic etcetera, and he really seemed to be happy - really, really happy. 

"I remember thinking, well I kind of do it already, because I'm looking after my mum, so yeah, maybe I could do it. I remember saying to him what qualifications do I need, he said you don't need any, it's the perks of being a carer. We put you through your qualifications, we pay for your qualifications, we assist you through all of that, we support you, we mentor you, we make sure that you get the qualifications required. 

"So I asked him if there were any vacancies, he said there were, so I gave them a call and I attended an interview within 48 hours. The interview lasted about four hours and I didn't shut up, I couldn't stop asking questions. I was so intrigued, I was so amazed that there are people out there providing care as young as 18 to prevent people from going into a care home. 

"My eyes were open that day and I knew that this was the job for me. When I was offered the position I was over overwhelmed, I was ecstatic, I was really, really pleased. I then started working as a carer. I was working long shifts, sometimes short shifts, I really enjoyed it. 

"At times it could be quite stressful, and you grow attached to the service users, so you know there are some days when they're not very well, you really feel for them. But yeah, I got up at 6:30 every morning, and just had the biggest grin on my face ever."