Caerphilly care manager wins industry accolade

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An inspirational social care manager who was stunned to be announced as an MBE winner in the Queen’s New Year Honours list is celebrating a double triumph after scooping a national care award.

Rose Brown, who works on behalf of Caerphilly County Borough Council as the South East Wales Shared Lives Scheme Manager, won a coveted silver award in the Excellence in Leadership and Management in Supported Living or Small Group Community Living category of the Wales Care Awards 2019.

The award, which is sponsored by Cartref Ni & Home Instead Senior Care, is one of the care industry’s highest accolades and cements an outstanding year of achievement for Rose, who was recently told she had been included in the Queen’s New Year Honours list 2020 for services to Shared Lives social and Health care.

The Wales Care Awards are organised by care industry champions Care Forum Wales and acknowledge the exceptional work and dedication of those in the care sector.

Rose, 58, who lives in Newport, collected her award during a glittering ceremony at Cardiff City Hall hosted by tenor and radio presenter Wynne Evans, better known as Gio Compario from the Go Compare TV adverts.

“I’m really overwhelmed, it’s been a wonderful year for me,” said Rose, who has two grown up birth children, a daughter aged 38, and a son aged 35.

“It has all come together and I feel very privileged.

“It might be a cliché to say everyone’s a winner but I really feel I have one of the best jobs you could imagine. I enjoy getting up and coming into work. Some days there are challenges but the achievements and outcomes override all of that.”

Rose, who was born in Gloucester and spent her early childhood in the mining village of Llanhilleth in Blaenau Gwent before moving to Newport aged nine, attended St Woolos Primary School and later the Queens Comprehensive School in Newport.

Her first job was as a customer service manager for Sainsbury’s. Once her children started school Rose began volunteering to support a young woman with learning disabilities on behalf of Newport City Council.

Later, Rose completed an induction to health and social care course at The Hill in Abergavenny, followed by social work training which led to a number of social care leadership roles within Caerphilly County Borough Council before she was appointed as Registered Manager of Caerphilly Adult Placement Scheme. She has been in her current role since 2012.

“Shared Lives is a collaborative scheme across the six counties of Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Newport, and Torfaen,” said Rose, who has worked in social care for the past 35 years and was nominated by the scheme’s service coordinators.

“We provide support and accommodation to individuals over the age of 18 with care and support needs. My role is to manage the service which includes a Staff Team of 20 some 206 carers and 496 service arrangements.

“It’s very rewarding. We support people to become independent and achieve their goals and sometimes their aspirations as well.

“There’s no limit to the opportunities out there for the individuals we support.”

The Scheme provides for older people, individuals with dementia, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, sensory loss or impairment, mental health needs, and people who misuse drugs or alcohol.

Many of the highlights of Rose’s career relate to the achievements of the people she has supported, including a young woman with learning disabilities who fulfilled her ambition to get married, have children and live independently.

“I have a wonderfully dynamic team and this is not all about me,” said Rose.

“The MBE was overwhelming, surreal and emotional but I wouldn’t have got it on my own. I have a lot of support around me.

“It’s been such a fantastic year. It is such a platform for the Shared Lives scheme because it’s one of those service areas that previously have been under recognised. Now it’s being recognised for its value and its work and that fills me with a great sense of achievement.

“We have some fabulous people out there providing excellent support.”

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.”