A young social care worker who has proved that she is prepared to go the extra mile has had her work recognized with a prestigious award.

At a glittering ceremony in Cardiff’s City Hall Ashden Prance-Bowen, 21, was presented with a silver award in this year’s Wales Care Awards.

The awards are organized by Care Forum Wales to recognize exceptional work and the ceremony, sponsored by Ontex Healthcare and Barchester Jobs, was hosted by singer and presenter Wynne Evans, popularly known as Gio Compario from the Go Compare TV adverts.

Ashden, a care assistant at the Shire Hall Care Home in Dumballs Road, Cardiff, won her award in the category for Exceptional Newcomer, sponsored by Coleg Cambria.

She was nominated by the home’s General Manager Karen Grapes, who said that in a very short time she had matured into an excellent care assistant, attracting praise from relatives of several of the 30 residents in her care.

Karen said: “One daughter wrote ‘Ashden has made my mother very comfortable in the home and will go the extra mile to help her and us as a family’, while another wrote “she always seems to find a way to make my Nan laugh’.”

Ashden also recorded a “first” for Shire Hall in the form of an e-mail from a paramedic who met her when he was called to the home to take a resident to hospital. He said he had seen at first-hand the exceptional care she provided.

“She was fantastic, constantly by the lady’s side, reassuring and comforting her and treating her like a family member. It was amazing to see,” he said.

Ashden, who lives in Llandaff North, said it had always been her ambition to work with vulnerable adults, especially as her great-grandparents had both suffered from dementia.

“The care they received was fantastic and I knew I wanted to do that,” she said. “My family says that when I was small and went to parties where there were disabled children I always ended up playing with them.”

Before joining Shire Hall she was employed as a school escort for disabled children, which again fuelled her interest in the work.

“I just love what I am doing and the residents in our community,” she said.

Ashden hopes to go to university to qualify as a mental health nurse and is currently working towards her NVQ Level 2, despite a setback which meant her having to repeat all the work lost when it was deleted on her computer.

Because of that her spare time is very limited at present, but when the opportunity arises she relaxes by socializing with friends and family.

Mario Kreft, the Chair of Care Forum Wales, said the standard of entries 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.”