A senior care practitioner with a heart of gold is the running for a major award – after sitting in all of the 10,500 seats at the Racecourse football ground in Wrexham.
When comes to wacky fund-raising ideas, Tracy King is willing to consider anything for the benefit of the residents at the nursing home where has worked for the past 14 years.
It’s a ‘can-do’ attitude exemplified in her day-to-day role as a senior care practitioner at the Highfield nursing home at Summerhill, near Wrexham that has seen her shortlisted for honours in this year’s Wales Care Awards.
Colleague Claire Venables, who nominated Tracy in the Social Care Health & Safety category, said: “I’ve known her about 14 years and she is extremely highly thought of by staff, residents and relatives alike because she creates a positive attitude among the team and provides a very high standard of care.
“In addition to providing personal care for the residents Tracy is also the home’s health and safety partner, which involves her in carrying out regular checks of rooms, care bell systems and communal areas.
“It’s a demanding role but she gets the job done and I believe Tracy is a very special person who deserves recognition for everything she does. I count myself lucky to be not just a colleague but a friend as well.”
Emphasising Tracy’s devotion to her work and to the nursing home residents, Claire added: “Tracy is always the first to volunteer for the various fund-raising activities for Highfield and one of her most notable efforts involved sitting on each of the 10,500 seats at Wrexham FC’s Racecourse stadium.
“On another occasion she spent the whole day in the window of the North Wales Beds store wearing only her pyjamas and I’ve no doubt she would do anything to raise money for our residents’ fund because she has such a huge heart.”
For Tracy, who left a ‘miserable’ job to move to Highfield, the nomination came out of the blue, but now she is looking forward to the awards evening at City Hall, Cardiff on Friday, November 6.
She said: “It came as a complete surprise and I was even a bit shocked at first. I’m not one for blowing my own trumpet so I’m not sure why I was nominated because I work with a good team and we all get on very well.
“I used to work in a knicker factory where I was so miserable but I love my job now and I’m happy to get up in the morning and go to work.
“It’s a very hands-on job and it’s very rewarding, especially when you can raise a smile or two from the residents.
“I’m looking forward to the awards night in November, as is my partner, who has already tried his suit on to make sure it’s okay for the big night.”
Recalling the marathon stint to occupy every seat at the Racecourse, which is the oldest international stadium in the world, Tracy said: “It took me a lot longer than anticipated because I was recovering from a chest infection at the time.
“But I got there in the end and it’s lovely that the fund-raising we do enables us to provide a few extra treats for the residents.”
Mario Kreft MBE, the Chair of Care Forum Wales, said the Wales Care Awards had gone from strength to strength.
He said: “The event is now firmly established as one of the highlights in the Welsh social care calendar and are seen as the Oscars of social care.
“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.
“It is a pleasure to honour the contribution of all the finalists. Each and every one of them should be very proud of their achievement.”