Caring Hannah in running for social care Oscar

A dedicated care home administrator who provides a personal shopping service and acts as Mother Christmas for residents is in the running for a major award.

Mother of two Hannah Edwards-Clatworthy will be a shortlisted finalist at the prestigious Wales Care Awards, known as the social care Oscars.

Hannah, who has helped to run the Ystrad-based 70-bed Rhondda Care Home for close on a decade, is up for honours in the Commitment to Quality in Housekeeping and Hospitality category sponsored by HCC Wales LTD.

The glittering ceremony will be held at City Hall in Cardiff on Friday, November 6.

First held in 2003, the event is an annual fixture in the social care calendar and rewards the champions of the sector as well as raising public awareness of the vital contribution made by the social care workforce to the health and wellbeing of the people of Wales.

Hannah, who lives in Elizabeth Street, Pentre, not only organises the 106-strong workforce employed at the home but also chairs the activities committee set up to enhance the day-to-day lives of residents.

Alison Edwards, a receptionist at the home and one of several staff members who nominated Hannah for the award, said: “I don’t know how she manages to stay so organised and on top of her work because she does an amazing job and is always happy to help everyone.”

Hannah, who described her nomination as something of a shock, said: “I enjoy making that little bit of a difference to the lives of the people we support.

“Anything extra, no matter how small, can make a difference and it’s nice to be able to do that for people.

“A lot of the residents don’t have family members so I go out once a month to buy toiletries for everyone. It’s a mammoth task because I buy a wide variety of brands and let the residents have a choice.

“Normally they would simply be allocated toiletries, but this means they don’t have to make do and I think that is appreciated.”

Determined to extend that element of choice, Hannah last year set herself the task of providing each of the residents with their own personalised Christmas present and organised a series of fund-raising events.

“It started off last year with a garden party,” she added. “Even though we raised only £200 or £300 the money went into the residents’ fund and so I organised another event at a local club and we made over £1,100 profit.

“I wanted to make sure the residents had something other than a pair of slippers so I went around and made a list of what each of them would like and I went out and bought them.

“Some wanted watches, others wanted books and other wanted items of clothing in specific colours and sizes. So it was a comprehensive exercise and then we had to wrap everything individually as well.

“I felt they deserved something more than toiletries or a box of chocolates, so we had two such events last year, we’ve had two this year so far and we’ve got a Christmas charity night planned for December 12.”

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 and are seen as the Oscars of social care.

"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."

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