A devoted nursing assistant who shaved off all her hair to raise money to buy a hydrobath for residents in her care is in line for a national award.
Sian Kedward, who has worked at College Fields Nursing Home, Barry, since 1999, was thrilled to be shortlisted as a finalist at the prestigious Wales Care Awards.
“When I found out I was a finalist, I cried,” said Sian, who is 39.
“I love all aspects of care. I love doing something for someone and getting a smile at the end, it’s so rewarding.
“Caring for people is my passion. I’ve been doing it since I was 15; I’ve always done this kind of work. Even when I was at school I did care work at the weekend.”
Sian, whose father was in the RAF, travelled around a lot growing up, and lived in Cyprus, Holland, England, and Scotland before moving to Wales aged 20 where she settled in Barry and began her career in the care industry.
This year’s Wales Care Awards ceremony will take place at City Hall in Cardiff on Friday, October 19. It marks the 15th anniversary of the awards and the 25th anniversary of organisers Care Forum Wales.
Sian didn’t realise she would be attending the glitzy ceremony until after she had shaved her hair.
“I hope it has grown enough by then that I can have some kind of hair do!” said Sian.
“I’m totally bald at the moment, but it was totally worth it. Money is still coming in and we are over £1,000 so far.
“I knew I’d been nominated for the care award but didn’t know I’d got through until after I’d shaved my head.
“I would still have done it though!” she added.
After joining College Fields, she underwent extensive training, and progressed to a Level 5 Nursing Assistant, and now has responsibilities such as tracheostomy care, feeding tube care, catheter care, and even giving out medications under qualified nurse supervision.
According to her bosses, she goes “above and beyond” for the home’s 65 residents, including several who live with dementia, for which Sian has undergone specialist training. She is praised for maintaining very high standards of care, and always promoting residents’ independence.
Manager Helen Randall had no hesitation in nominating Sian for the Commitment to Training and Workforce Development Award and the Care Practitioner in Residential Care Home Award.
She said: “Sian is quickly able to form a very professional, individualised relationships with residents and their loved ones, never seeing the diagnosis but always seeing the person.
“She supports our residents in taking as much control over their day to day life decisions as possible, always promoting choice and dignity.
“She encourages and nurtures each person she cares for each day, encouraging them to do things they never thought they would again but to also do new things and enjoy new experiences, and she even came into work on her day off to take the residents wheelchair ice skating.
“Sian gets to know her residents so well that the ONLY care she provides is truly person centred in every way.
“She is a credit to the care industry.”
Mario Kreft MBE, the Chair of Care Forum Wales, said the Wales Care Awards had gone from strength to strength.
He said: “This year’s ceremony is an even more special occasion because it marks the 15th anniversary of the Wales Care Awards and the 25th anniversary of Care Forum Wales and the event is now firmly established as one of the highlights in the Welsh social care calendar.
“The aim is to recognise the unstinting and often remarkable dedication of our unsung heroes and heroines across Wales.
“The care sector is full of wonderful people because it’s not just a job it’s a vocation – these are the people who really do have the X Factor.
“If you don’t recognise the people who do the caring you will never provide the standards that people need and never recognise the value of the people who need the care in society.
“We need to do all we can to raise the profile of the care sector workforce – they deserve to be lauded and applauded.”