Neath: Former laundry assistant Lauren hoping to clean up at awards

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A change of role has paid off for a former laundry assistant from Neath as she is now in line for a prestigious award.

Mother-of-two Lauren Davies is among the nominees for one of this year’s Wales Care Awards and on October 18 will be attending a ceremony at Cardiff City Hall.

The awards are organised by Care Forum Wales to recognise exception work in the care sector and Lauren, who is a team leader at the Plas Bryn Rhosyn Home in Heol Illtyd, Neath, has been shortlisted in the category for residential care practitioners.

She is therefore guaranteed to receive a gold, silver or bronze award. MC for the ceremony will be tenor and radio presenter Wynne Evans, better known as Gio Compario from the Go Compare TV ad.

Lauren, 35, who lives in Waunceirch, started work as a laundry assistant in a small care home 13 years ago after having her first daughter, but always fancied having a go at being a carer.

Her opportunity came when she provided respite care while a colleague was on maternity leave, and she took to the role immediately.

She has been at Plas Bryn Rhosyn, which is part of the Pobl Group, for 12 years, the last six as team leader. She works alongside occupational therapists and physiotherapists in a 12-bed unit in which stroke patients are assisted in their recovery to once again lead independent lives.

“I assess them in hospital before they come in and when they arrive they are often in a low mood, hardly able to walk, and it’s so rewarding to see them making progress,” she said. “We also work closely with their families.”

Lauren was nominated for the award by Plas Bryn Rhosyn’s general manager Stuart Davies, with the backing of other colleagues.

“Lauren is a very hands-on team leader who strives for perfection in her tasks, knowing that in achieving this the residents safely receive a high standard of care and support,” he said.

“She fully understands the role of team leader and fulfils the role in a very empathetic and individualised way, ensuring person-centred support is provided to each resident.”

During her time at the home Lauren has worked her way through NVQ levels 2 and 3, has taken a “Step up to Management” course and attended numerous training courses to improve her knowledge alongside her experience.

Stuart continued: “She has become a strong peer  and role model for the rest of the care team, which is evidenced by recent comments from her colleagues such as ‘Lauren is very helpful and you can always go to her for advice if needed’ and ‘she is very approachable and a great co-worker’.”

Lauren, who enjoys taking her dogs for walks in her spare time, is looking forward to attending the awards ceremony with her partner Jason Bowley.

“He is always very supportive in what I do,” she commented.

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.”