An Elvis fan from Swansea was all shook up when he won a gold award at the social care Oscars.
Paul Clement who often performs his hero’s greatest hits, was among the main award winners at a glittering evening at Cardiff City Hall.
The 52-year-old was lost for words when it was announced that he had won the gold award in the Dignity in Care category in this year’s Wales Care Awards.
The awards are organized by Care Forum Wales to recognize exceptional work in the care sector. The evening was sponsored by Onyx Healthcare and Paul’s award, sponsored by the Welsh Government, was presented by Huw Irranca Davies, Minister for Children, Older People and Social Care.
For the past 24 years Paul, who lives in Skewen, has been a facilities assistant at the Plas Bryn Rhosyn Home in Heol Illtyd, and whilst he is extremely efficient at his job, which involves gardening and overseeing maintenance of the property, it is his willingness to go the extra mile which has earned him the nomination in the category for Commitment to Housekeeping and Hospitality.
In that particular section he was a bronze winner, but, like all the other nominees, he was also eligible for the Dignity in Care Award.
“It was a wonderful evening and it was lovely that my colleague Clive Sparrow won gold. I was so pleased to get bronze, but was stunned when they announced my name for the Dignity in Care award,” said Paul.
Registered manager Stuart Davies, who nominated him, said: “He is not only happy to go the extra mile but does so with a great big smile on his face, often volunteering to go out of his way without being asked.
“Paul takes great pride in interacting with the residents and enjoys being able to sit, chat and laugh with them. This is important to him even though it isn’t necessarily part of his role, and bringing joy to others is a skill that Paul has in abundance.”
He was recently nominated as “Employee of the Month” and on a recent training day at which staff were asked to select the person they felt most embodied the values of home owners Pobl – “positive, connected and considerate” – they unanimously chose Paul.
“He really is a great asset and ambassador for the home and in going above and beyond his remit he does so for the benefit of the residents,” added Stuart.
Paul, who has four grown-up children and one grandchild, said he was delighted to have been nominated for the award and to have had his wife Pauline present on the evening.
“The greatest satisfaction I get is from knowing I make a difference to people’s lives every single day and I’m really privileged that I can share their lives. Every single one has a story to tell, and I love spending time with them.”
He runs a gardening club for the residents and encourages them to enter a gardening competition run by Pobl.
He also helps to organize other social events at Plas Bryn Rhosyn including regular Elvis cabaret nights.
“I’m an Elvis fan and do perform occasionally on those occasions,” he said.
Mario Kreft, the Chair of Care Forum Wales, said: “There are only winners here tonight so it is only fitting that the finalists have 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 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.”