Wrexham-based care organisation Pendine Park on top of the world

A pioneering care organisation has won an international award.

Wrexham-based Pendine Park was recognised for the most outstanding dementia care innovation in the world in 2013.

The honour was bestowed at the Globals, an international awards ceremony organised by the influential Over 50s Housing group.

The glittering occasion at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London was attended by the best of social care organisations from around the world, from as far afield as New Zealand and Canada.

The judges praised Bodlondeb, Pendine Park’s centre of excellence for dementia and mental health care, that was officially opened by First Minister Carwyn Jones who hailed it as a “pioneering model of care”.

They were particularly impressed with the way in which it was run within the constraints of public sector funding and how the arts were used to enrich residents’ lives.

Pendine Park has already received a raft of awards for their long-running collaborations with the world-renowned Hallé orchestra and Welsh National Opera.

Bodlondeb is divided into eight small, family-like units so that the residents receive as much individual care and attention as possible whilst benefiting from the back-up of a larger organisation.

It is being used as a template for a new £7 million scheme to provide dementia services on the site of a former community hospital, Ysbyty Bryn Seiont, on the outskirts of Caernarfon.

The development has just received planning permission  after Gwynedd councillors unanimously supported the proposal despite a recommendation from planning officials that it should be refused.

Earlier this year Pendine Park became one of only a handful of social care companies across the UK to receive the coveted Investors in People Gold Award.

Pendine Park owner Mario Kreft MBE was delighted their work had been honoured at the Globals.

Mr Kreft, who is also the Chair of Care Forum Wales, said: “It’s a wonderful accolade, and Pendine Park has been chosen particularly for the work that we’re undertaking with our enrichment programme, in particular using the arts.

“The judges cited our  Bodlondeb dementia unit which was built specifically to operate to local authority level funding.

“What you’re seeing is an independent sector organisation taking responsibility to provide the very best dementia services we can to the community, with a specialist building with small family like units.

“They also wanted to recognise  what we have done with our workforce and development programme which was one of the factors that helped us achieve Investors in People Gold.

“At Bodlondeb, we have an absolutely inspirational manager in Ann Chapman, and she is supported by a large team of fantastic people.

“I think Bodlondeb is a very good example internationally of how you square the circle of increasing need, increasing expectation, trying to find the best practice wherever you can find that, putting it together in a package, and actually doing it at a price that many people would think is very difficult to achieve.

“We want to build on our success with Bodlondeb. Canolfan Gofal Parc Pendine in Caernarfon will benefit from this experience and indeed the experience of the last 28 years that we have been doing this job.”

According to Mr Kreft, the values he learned from his grandparents still provide his “guiding light”.

Bodlondeb was named after his grandparents’ home in St Asaph Street, Rhyl, and was dedicated to his beloved grandmother, Mrs Rene Warburton,  who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease in later life.

“Although they are no longer with us, my grandparents who raised me would have been very proud,” he added.

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