A project and behavioural support manager’s commitment to providing better training and workforce development opportunities for all has landed him in the running for a prestigious award.

Chris Davis supports with learning and development within Values in Care – an organisation based in Ystrad Mynach which helps people with complex needs live their lives to the full.

The 30-year-old from Wyllie, Caerphilly leads a team which has been working with Educ8 Training Group to deliver a range of apprenticeship programmes to make a lasting difference to the quality of service provision, by developing the skills and knowledge of their colleagues in-house.

Values in Care was established in 2003 and has 18 supported living settings supporting adults with learning disabilities across South Wales.

They also have a community hub to support all services users with arts and crafts, money skills, woodwork, cooking and other life skills and have been described as having a “positive impact on the community.”

It is Chris’ passion for his caring role that has seen him make the final of the major national competition, the 2022 Wales Care Awards, sponsored by Ontex Healthcare..

The glittering presentation ceremony will be held at City Hall in Cardiff on Friday October 21, hosted by tenor and radio presenter Wynne Evans, better known as Gio Compario from the Go Compare TV ads.

The awards are 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.

Chris has been shortlisted for the Commitment to Training & Workforce Development Award, sponsored by City & Guilds and WJEC.

Those who work in partnership with Chris and the team at Values in Care said they “absolutely embed the values and ethos of social care in all their work” and “deliver high quality meaningful support, enabling each person to live a full and rich life in their community.”

They also “demonstrate best practice in respecting diversity and promote the independence, rights and dignity of individuals accessing their services,” while working hard to attract, retain and train skilled and experienced support staff.

Customer account director, Ann Nicholas who nominated Chris said: “Chris and the team have a genuine passion for all of the qualifications that the staff are completing and how they not only benefit the individual, but the positive impact they also have on the individuals they support and the business.”

Chris started his career at Liberty Care 6 years ago as an apprentice and currently  has 42 members of staff studying apprenticeships with Values in Care.

He left retail and started working in the care sector as a support worker in 2016 and described his current role as his “dream job” citing his wife as his “biggest supporter” helping him every step of the way.

He said: “I was never very academic but when I started in care, I was absolutely inspired and fell in love with training and development and now I’m in a dream job and couldn’t ask for better.

“I work with so many amazing individuals and I have a saying that Ultimately I have one core philosophy, which is to deliver effective high quality compassionate care. I believe that it can be done, and should always be done.

About being shortlisted, Chris said: “Values in Care have a consistent and established outlook to training and workforce development and being nominated for this award is amazing, it really means a lot.

“When I began my role the very first two individuals that we enrolled onto the Level 5 apprenticeship have now become registered managers – investing in training has brought a massive amount of value to the company and the development of the skills of our teams.

“The support from Educ8 has been great and working in partnership with them has really paid off.

“I’ve had so much support over the years and it’s a pleasure to work with so many good people.”

Mario Kreft MBE, Chair of Care Forum Wales, said the aim of the Wales Care Awards was to recognise the unstinting and remarkable dedication of unsung heroes and heroines across Wales.

He said: “The social care sector is full of wonderful people because it’s not just a job, it’s a vocation – these are people who go the extra mile for others.

“During the Covid crisis, this fantastic workforce rose magnificently to the challenge, putting their own lives on the line to do everything they possibly could to safeguard the people for whom they provide care.

“Unfortunately, it has taken a global pandemic for many other people to realise how important and how significant our social care workforce is.

“Their incredible contribution was summed up best in the powerful and emotive words of the song, Heroes of our Heart, written by the acclaimed poet Mererid Hopwood and sung by Sir Bryn Terfel, which was set to the famous tune of Men of Harlech. The message that the diolch should last forever is one that we should never forget.

“If you don’t recognise the people who do the caring you will never provide the standards people need and never recognise the value of people who need care in society.

“All the nominees deserve to be lauded and applauded and it’s a real pleasure to honour the contribution of all the finalists.

“I congratulate all the individuals who have shown outstanding dedication and professionalism. Every one of them should be proud of their achievement.

“They are Wales’s finest.”