A Wrexham care worker has danced her way to a gold award.
Sian Roberts from Cefn Mawr was shocked to receive the prestigious honour at a ceremony in Cardiff’s City Hall.
A support worker with Wrexham County Borough Council’s Community Living Service, the 34-year-old mother-of-four was a joint winner of the gold award in the category for Supported Living Care Practitioner in this year’s Wales Care Awards.
The awards are organized by Care Forum Wales to recognize and reward excellence in the care sector, and Sian’s category was sponsored by Smartcare.
Sian has worked in the care industry since leaving school and joined the council 10 years ago, working with people with learning disabilities. She currently has responsibility for two elderly women.
She is a qualified dance instructor and for the past 16 years has run the Dance Zone academy in Cefn Mawr and Wrexham.
She has long believed in dance as therapy and last year was given the go-ahead to hold weekly group sessions.
The project, which she runs in her own time, has proved a huge success and the way she related to the group members so impressed her colleagues and bosses that they nominated her for the award.
The highlight came when the group put on a Christmas show which boosted the confidence of the participants and was an emotional experience for the audience.
Angela Peacock, assistant manager of the Assisted Living Service, said: “It has been so rewarding in many different ways for someone who has a learning difficulty to stand up in front of a crowd and perform as they may have always wanted do.”
“Sian has a lot of patience and empathy for the people she supports on a day-to-day basis as well as in the dance group,” added Angela.
“She is always mindful of maintaining the quality of her work and attends regular training courses to ensure she is up to date with her knowledge.”
Another testimonial came from Senior Support Worker Mike Flood, who said the sessions had brought multiple benefits to the service users and Sian’s ability to communicate and involve all members of the group was impressive.
Sian said she gained great satisfaction from the sessions and also paid tribute to her two daughters for their support from the outset.
The Christmas Show was such a hit that it is to be repeated this year.
Sian, who was accompanied to the Cardiff event by her friend Stephanie Jones, said: “It was such a shock to receive the gold award. The whole evening was amazing, very professionally organized, and it was good to see and hear of the work that other people do.”
Mario Kreft, the Chair of Care Forum Wales, said: “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 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.”