Happy Dave wins by a smile

Wrexham care worker Dave Lewis has a truly winning smile.

Dave, who works for home care specialists Independent Living, has been crowned a champion

The annual Smile Awards, sponsored by Barclays Bank were organised by Smartcare, the training arm of the Pendine Park care organisation.

The aim is to reward staff who go that extra mile in making a difference to the everyday lives of its residents and clients who live in their own homes.

Smartcare Teaching Care Centre manager Tracey Evans says clients, their relatives and
staff were able to nominate who they thought should win the award.

She said: “We wanted to recognise those members of staff who not just walk about happy and
smiling all day themselves but bring a smile to the faces of our clients too.

“All residents and staff were able to nominate anyone they thought was deserving of the award. Each one of our care homes as well as our Independent Living and support services staff were eligible for the award.

“There is an award and runner-up for each unit and an overall top smiler award. We see this
is a very important initiative and wanted to recognise the often missed hard work of our staff in brightening up each day for our clients.”

“Dave Lewis, who works for Independent Living, received two particularly heartfelt nominations and in the end was a clear overall winner.

“One of his clients, stroke victim Stan Goddard, who is 78, said Dave doesn’t just do his job and leaves, instead he goes more than that extra mile to help and is always cheerful. Dave takes Stan to the gym and helps him with tasks around the home to make life easier for Stan.

“Another of Dave’s clients is a young man who suffers Down’s Syndrome. Dave takes him out
and keeps him happy. The client’s mum, Margaret Evans, wrote in to tell us how her son really looks forward to Dave’s visits and how he enjoys his trips out with him.”

Dave, who worked at Kellogg’s in Wrexham for 22 years before joining Independent Living almost eight years ago, is proud, but a bit embarrassed, to have been named Pendine Park’s Smile Champion for 2011.

He said: “I just do my job, which I really like. I have wonderful clients and really enjoy their company. Stan Goddard, who put my name forward, is a wonderful man and a pleasure to be with. I take him to the gym and we always have a bit of fun.

“And young Craig Evans might have Down’s Syndrome but he’s a fantastic young man. We go to play boccia, a soft ball game, which he really enjoys. It would be difficult to feel miserable in Craig’s company in any case, he makes me smile and brightens my day too.”

“I am happy to have won this award but I’m sure there are many of my colleagues who are just as deserving and who, I am sure, do as much if not more for their clients than I do for mine.”

Tracey added: “What Dave does is helping people stay in their own community and living in their own homes. His clients are people of all ages and abilities, some of them have family support and some don’t meaning they rely on Independent Living to remain in their own homes.”

John Pitchford, of Barclays’ Head of Corporate Banking for North Wales and Chester, was delighted to have the opportunity to continue supporting and sponsoring the awards.

He said: “It really is a great opportunity to recognise the quality and talent working within the Pendine Park Care Organisation.

“At a time when there is little good news about its great to be able to celebrate the good work of care workers such as Dave and all his colleagues within the organisation.

“The care sector is vitally important to the local economy and Pendine Park is not only a major employer but a wonderful example of how a care organisation should operate. We are proud to be associated, through the Smile Awards, to Pendine Park Care Organisation.”

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