A creative care home worker from Barry who works tirelessly to provide personalised activities for residents with dementia has scooped a prestigious care award.
Care worker Lizzie Lewis said she was ‘still in shock’ after being announced as a winner at the prestigious 2019 Wales Care Awards held at Cardiff’s City Hall.
The 35-year-old, who lives in Barry, works as a care assistant with College Fields Nursing Home in the town where her passion for the welfare of the elderly has led her to becoming the home’s ‘Wellbeing Champion’, devoting one-to-one time with her residents.
And it is thanks to the difference she has made to the lives of College Fields residents that Lizzie won gold in the category of Excellence in Dementia Care, sponsored by All Care South Wales & College Fields Nursing Home, at the prestigious national awards.
Lizzie said receiving the award was an unforgettable experience.
“I honestly did not think I would win. The ceremony was live-streamed and my mum, who was watching, said my face lit up when I heard I had won gold! I am still a little in shock, I keep looking at the award and telling myself ‘yes, I did it!’
Organised by Care Forum Wales, the Wales Care Awards aim to recognise the hard work and dedication of those in the care sector.
She was nominated for an award by College Field’s manager, Helen Randall who said the dedicated care worker had ‘an ability to give each resident a sense of purpose and a reason to smile’.
Lizzie, who has worked in the care sector for the past seven years and moved to Barry from Ipswich two years ago to be near her family, has been the home’s Wellbeing Champion for the last 12 months. Her role, Lizzie explained, was to find out what individual residents like to do or would like to try – and then try and make it happen.
“It is such a privilege to be able to do this job and I will literally do anything for our residents. Just because you’re in a care home, your life doesn’t just stop, it can still be meaningful and there are ways around it, you just need support,” she explained.
Lizzie said her Wales Care Award was a tribute to her colleagues as well as College Fields’ residents.
“This award was such a team effort as I am only able to succeed thanks to them. If I hadn’t been given the role of Wellbeing Champion and had the support to do all things I want to do, it would not be possible, so this award is for everyone at College Fields.”
Lizzie now hopes that her Wales Care Award success will inspire even more people to consider the career she loves.
“If a career in care work is something you are considering and you feel you can make a difference, I say go for it. It is not always easy, but it is the most enjoyable and rewarding job in the world,” she added.
Congratulating Lizzie on her gold award, 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.”