‘Exceptional’ charity worker scoops award at ‘oscars of social care’

A “committed” manager at a charity hailed for giving people a voice has seen her hard work and dedication hoat a glittering awards ceremony.

Ruth Wellum’s passion and selflessness saw her quickly rise through the ranks at Cartrefi Ni Ltd in St Asaph after a previous career in childminding.

The organisation helps people with learning disabilities live active, independent and fulfilling lives.

Ruth’s “exceptional” contribution to the team has led to the 55-year-old from Towyn scooping a prestigious accolade for her efforts at the 2022 Wales Care Awards, dubbed the Oscars of social care.

The grandmother-of-two took the silver gong for the Leading Practice in Learning Disability and Mental Health Services Award, with the category being sponsored by Amaya Care.

The event in Cardiff was hosted by tenor and radio presenter Wynne Evans, better known as Gio Compario from the Go Compare TV ads.

Sponsored by Ontex Healthcare, it was run in association with Care Forum Wales, a not-for-profit organisation set up in 1993 to give independent care providers a single professional voice with which to speak on one of the most important issues of our time – how to provide better quality care for those who need it most.

Ruth, who joined the not-for-profit organisation in 2014 after moving to the region from Sheffield was shortlisted after her line managers and colleagues cited the “amazing commitment” she showed following an outbreak of Covid 19 in one house which involved three tenants and two staff testing positive for the virus.

Her dedication saw her go “above and beyond her role” working outside of her normal office hours, supporting family members and sacrificing her own personal time.

Support worker, Helen Grimston said: “Ruth shows true dedication to the job, often working extended hours to ensure that any complications or issues are resolved in the best possible way.

“Ruth is an inspiration to all team members and is extremely approachable, no matter whether it is a personal or work issue.

“Ruth freely passes on her wealth of knowledge and is truly amazing.

“There is no doubt that Ruth puts others before herself and is the epitome of what working within social care is all about.”

Ruth said: “I started working here after a career both as a childminder and supporting childminders with a local authority so I’ve always been in a caring role.

“This is totally different but I love it, it’s brilliant. I just come in and do my job but to be recognised for it feels amazing.”

Mario Kreft, chairman of Care Forum Wales, said the ceremony was all the more poignant because of the Covid pandemic and what front line staff had endured.

He said: “I would like to pay a heartfelt tribute to all the wonderful people who work in social care after the rose magnificently and courageously to meet the unprecedented challenges they have faced over the past couple of years.

“We have always recognised their true value and hopefully now the rest of Wales is also aware of how lucky we are as a nation to  have them providing care and safeguarding our most vulnerable people.

“Our finalists are the best of the best and are here representing the whole social care workforce who all deserve a big pat on the back.

“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 and in the months and years to come.

“In the words of the powerful song, Heroes of our Heart, written by the acclaimed poet Mererid Hopwood and sung by Sir Bryn Terfel, let the Diolch last forever.

”We take our hats off to them.”

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