Inspirational Tracey leads by example

A new generation of care practitioners is being inspired by the story of a training firm boss.

Tracey Evans, the manager of Smartcare, started out as a YTS trainee at the award-winning Pendine Park  care organisation.

Twenty five years on and her proteges were celebrating at a glittering award ceremony in Wrexham after completing their National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs)

No fewer than 28 members of Pendine Park’s staff passed their NVQ level Two or NVQ level Three qualifications.

And a further 21 care practitioners working at other care homes across the region passed their NVQ qualifications at Wrexham-based Smartcare, which is Pendine Park’s training arm.

Wrexham mayor Cllr Ian Roberts was on hand to congratulate the successful learners and hand them their diplomas.

Smartcare Teaching Care Centre manager, Tracey Evans, explained that this is the third year the award ceremony has taken place and standards continue to improve.

She said: “Smartcare was set up 10 years ago by Pendine Park proprietors Mario Kreft MBE and his wife Gill, after they struggled to find somewhere to train staff to the highest possible standard.

“We now work alongside Cardiff-based Associated Community Training who are contracted by the Welsh Government to provide a training framework with NVQs to industry standard.”

Tracey, who began her career at Pendine Park 25 years ago as a YTS Care Practitioner before working her way up to becoming manager of Pendine Park’s Gwern Alyn care home and eventually manager of Smartcare, added that the vision for Pendine Park remains unchanged.

She said: “We treat our clients in the best way we can by always aiming to provide the best possible care with dignity and respect.

“We are teaching a recognised work-based learning qualification in social care which in my view is second to none. However, we have to thank our brilliant training centre staff. They are dedicated and committed to our learners and their profession.”

Pendine Park’s head of Workforce Development, Anita Curley, added: “This  has proved to be an exceptional year for Smartcare Teaching Centre here at Pendine Park and the learners have done very well indeed.

“The NVQ qualification is coming to an end and will now be know as a Diploma in Health and Social Care. Some of this year’s learners will be the final learners to work through the NVQ apprenticeship framework.

“The Pendine Park Training Centre, Smartcare, means training is standardised and means care homes across the region can have quality, bespoke training to suit their needs and those of the wider care industry.

“I am delighted with the way Smartcare has developed and the standard of training on offer is, without doubt, exceptional.”

Kathryn Wing of Cardiff-based Associated Community Training Quality Co-ordinator has worked with Smartcare to ensure the standard of training delivered is to industry standard for more than three years.

She said: “We provide Welsh Assembly Government funding to Smartcare and the training they provide has been so exceptional we have provided additional funding to support the training on offer.

“Smartcare is one of the leading providers of training within the care sector in North Wales and in particular the Wrexham region. Smartcare continues to out perform and consistently leads the way in care sector training.”

Cllr Ian Roberts was delighted to attend the event and to present the successful learners with their diplomas.

He said: “Pendine Park has a reputation, richly deserved I might add, as a leading provider of care within the Wrexham area and the wider North Wales community.

“It’s an honour for me to join with learners and to celebrate their personal successes with them. Training can be hard and finding the time to juggle learning alongside work and family commitments is never easy. So well done to them all.

“We should all be very proud to have a care organisation such as Pendine Park here in Wrexham.”

Former mayor of Wrexham Cllr Jim Kelly also attended the event and added how thrilled he was to once again have the opportunity to once again celebrate the achievements of Smartcare learners.

He said: “Pendine Park is a wonderful organisation and I am proud of the fact it is based here in Wrexham. It is quite simply a marvellous institution and I am immensely proud to be associated and to have been involved with it and its staff for so many years.”

Sharon Jones, manager of Pendine Park’s Cae Bryn home in Wrexham says she is delighted no fewer than five of her staff passed their NVQ’s at either Level Two or Three.

She said: “I’m really, really pleased with the efforts of staff who took the time and put in the effort to pass these important qualifications.

“They all know that their efforts can only be of benefit to the most important people of all – our clients.”

Cae Bryn care practitioner, Susan Pearl Jones, passed he NVQ Level Two and said: “I found the course really helpful and can say passing the qualification has given me more confidence while carrying out my duties. It can only help me and I know hope to gain further qualifications.”

Pendine Park Hillbury Care Home care practitioners, Celyn Evans and Natasha Shone were each celebrating success with Celyn passing his NVQ Level Two and Natasha her Level Three.

Celyn, who has worked at Hillbury for more than four years said he was delighted to have passed the course which he found stimulating and rewarding while Natasha added that passing the Level Three course had given her more confidence.

Pendine Park Gwern Allen had five members of staff successful in passing their NVQ’s at either Level Two or Three.

Katarzyna Marciak, who originates from Poland, was delighted to have passed her NVQ Level Three.

She said: “It’s been a special year for me as I gave birth to my baby daughter Julia just a few weeks ago. I am on maternity leave at the present time but look forward to getting back to work.

“I have been at Gwern Alyn for more than five years and passing my NVQs has helped me a great deal with my day to day duties.”

Care practitioner Sarah Jones also passed her NVQ Level Three and  added that the qualification has given her a great deal of confidence while helping her future development.

Pendine Park’s Penybryn care now has three newly qualified members of staff.

Care practitioner Amy Hughes passed her NVQ Level Two and said the course was hard work but very rewarding.

Heather Roberts also passed her Level Two NVQ in Health and Social Care and is now going onto Chester University to study Mental Health Nursing. She added that the course really helpful and a great stepping-stone in her future development.

Meanwhile Michelle Lewis passed her NVQ Level Two and is already studying for her Level Three.


 Awards-8 Pictured is The Mayor and Mayoress Cllr Ian Roberts and Hillary Roberts with the Pendine Park’s staff who passed their NVQ level Two or NVQ level Three qualifications.

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