A MAN who made the constructive decision to swap life on building sites for working in a care home is in line for a prestigious national accolade.
Wayne Barry, 37, had not been employed in a care environment until he became a maintenance assistant at Ysguborwen Care Home in Aberdare in October 2016.
But the father-of-two has made such an impact in helping brighten the lives of all he comes across at the home that he has been shortlisted for an honour at this year’s Wales Care Awards, run by Care Forum Wales.
To his delight, Wayne has been shortlisted for the honour and he will attend the glitzy ceremony at City Hall in Cardiff on Friday, October 18.
The event, known as the Oscars of social care will be hosted by tenor and radio presenter Wynne Evans, better known as Gio Compario from the Go Compare TV adverts.
As well as performing vital maintenance work every day and helping improve the home’s facilities, Wayne has built a positive reputation for providing welcome cheer for residents, visitors and fellow staff.
He has been described as a “pure tonic” by management.
Wayne has regularly been willing to return after his work hours to help residents, such as by installing a TV aerial for a man who was confined to their bed and assisting staff with medication supplies.
“I find this to be one of the most rewarding jobs. I gain a lot of enjoyment from it,” said Wayne, 37.
“I enjoy talking to the residents and I’m happy to help them in any way I can. If you are human, then you can’t help becoming attached to them.
“If any patients need any medication then I’m always happy to get it for them. I have driven to different pharmacies to collect it.
“It doesn’t matter to me what time it is. I will always do anything to help out.”
Wayne previously worked as a self-employed builder, before he was given the chance to put his maintenance skills to good use at the home, run by Osborne Care Homes, three years ago.
It’s a decision he has never regretted.
“I really like being part of the home,” he said. “I feel lucky to work at such a place.
“I was on my own for so long when I was self-employed, but then the chance came up to work here and I’m very glad I made that decision.
“There is a really good team spirit and it has been a real pleasure to work at the home.”
His efforts have been appreciated by management so much that he was nominated for the Commitment to Quality in Hospitality Award in this year’s Wales Care Awards.
“It’s a nice thing to be shortlisted for this award,” said Wayne, of Penywaun, Aberdare.
“But this isn’t really about me. It is for everyone who works there, as they all do an excellent job and deserve an award themselves.
“I’m pleased the care home is being recognised.”
Wayne, father of Enya, 12, and Finley, nine, plans to attend the ceremony with his partner, Amanda Jones.
He added: “Amanda spends a lot of time looking after her nan, Eileen, who has dementia.
“I think she deserves appreciation for it. When I see what she does and the work the staff do at the home, it really makes me appreciate how much effort goes into caring for people. It has been a real eye-opener.”
In nominating him for the award on behalf of the home, manager Debbie Strong said Wayne “should be bottled for his never-ending enthusiasm and energy” and hailed him as a “super role model”.
She added: “Wayne has a fabulous sense of humour and brightens everyone’s day.
“He is a pure tonic.”
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.”