Wrexham supermum Helen wins top accolade at Wales Care Awards

Supermum Helen Wynne has won another top accolade – at the care sector’s “Oscars.”

It was her own son’s plight which encouraged Helen to do something about the lack of specialist childcare services in her area. So it was an extra special occasion when brave Dyfan joined her at the presentation of the prestigious Wales Care Awards in Cardiff.

Only six months ago Dyfan took a big step forward in his battle to overcome terrible health problems when a feeding tube was removed. After eight years he could finally eat normally.

Despite his difficulties and young age he’s shown a family trait – determination.

Last year Helen was declared “Mum of the Year” by a major supermarket chain. But this was Dyfan’s first chance to savour the moment at an awards evening alongside his inspirational mum.

Helen said :”It made my weekend and was such a special treat for him.

“Everyone was so kind and lovely to Dyfan. It was an absolutely amazing experience and he had the most fantastic time.

“A kind gentleman even bought a football in an auction and gave it to Dyfan.”

Mother-of-two Helen, 42, runs Blythswood Childminding Services with husband Dean from their large Victorian detached house in Norman Road, Wrexham.

She was worthy winner of the gold “Innovation in Care for Children and Young People” Award, sponsored by Prospects for Young People, at the Wales Care Awards.

In 2004 Dyfan was born with the extremely rare condition chromosome 8 deletion – the only child in Britain to have it and one of only five in the world.

Dyfan was born with meningitis and two holes in the heart which required surgery at the age of six months. The youngster is also partially sighted and has a hearing impairment and other health problems. His early years were spent between Wrexham and Alder Hey Hospitals and he’s defied the odds and showed himself to be a courageous little fighter.

Helen said: “I know what it was like when we started out with Dyfan, trying to find suitable child care. I wouldn’t like anyone else to struggle like we did.

“We also have some staff who have special needs. I believe in opportunities for all.”

Welsh-learner Helen, a qualified Zumba instructor, has a raft of awards. She recently won two City and Guilds Lions’ Awards including an Outstanding Achievement Award. Last year she was declared “Tesco Mum of the Year,” meeting David Cameron at No. 10 and celebrities,  and in 2011 she was “Student of the Year” at Deeside College, now part of Coleg Cambria, for her high standards in her National Vocational Qualification (NVQ). Two years ago she also won the “Family Hero Award for Wales.”

The couple look after children from just a few weeks old to 14 years, with and without disabilities. Helen has been a childminder for eleven years and before this was a personal assistant to a breast surgeon.

After taking a childminding course and registering, she set up a business which is now the biggest childminding setting at Wrexham. Dean joined as a registered childminder in 2008 which enabled them to provide more spaces for children.

Care Forum Wales represents more than 500 care homes and independent care sector organisations across Wales. It works to help members provide high-quality services and dignity in care for the elderly and others in need of social care.

David Jones, the Principal and Chief Executive of Coleg Cambria, said: “We were delighted to sponsor an award at the Wales Care Awards and were naturally pleased that Helen was among the winners.

Coleg Cambria’s involvement with the Wales Care Awards is well established because delivering care courses and services and working with the social care sector in North East Wales is a big part of what we do. ”

Mario Kreft MBE, the Chair of Care Forum Wales, said the standard of entries for the Wales Care Awards was extremely high.

He added: “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.”

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