A YOUNG carer has been hailed as an inspiration after winning a major national award.

Ross Camacho, who works for the Cardiff and Newport based homecare provider Right at Home organisation, won gold in the Exceptional Newcomer category at the prestigious Wales Care Awards.

According to Ross, the accolade made him really appreciate the importance of his role as a caregiver.

“I was overwhelmed just to be at the care awards so to win was quite simply unbelievable,” said Ross, 23.

“The awards recognise the thousands of carers who give 100 per cent each day and I was just fortunate enough to be selected from among them.

“Without the incredible clients and carers I work with that would not have been possible.”

The annual Wales Care Awards, which were celebrating their 15th anniversary, were staged at a glittering ceremony at Cardiff’s City Hall and are organised by Care Forum Wales, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

The Exceptional Newcomer category was sponsored by Coleg Cambria and the presentation was made by the Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Cllr Dianne Rees. Headline sponsor of the awards was Onyx Healthcare.

Ross celebrated his success at the awards with other members of the Right at Home team and his brother.

A graduate in biomedical physiology, he says long term he wants to remain in the care profession. “But I have been thinking about using my degree and care experience to perhaps get a role in cardiac physiology,” said Ross.

Ross, who used to live in the Grangetown area of Cardiff but has recently moved to Cardiff Bay, started going to church regularly when he first joined Right at Home last October and found so many of his clients were deeply religious.

“Most of my clients, particularly elderly clients, are very religious,” he said. “When you experience end of life care it can be very stressful.”

He goes to Gabalfa Baptist Church in Cardiff two or three times a week and was baptized there in August.

“I find it really helps,” said Ross. “It is a church for all ages and everyone is welcome and can become family.

“I have met some amazing people there who I can trust if I ever need anything.”

Ross, a caregiver in the community of Cardiff who undertakes domiciliary calls and longer companionship calls, was nominated for the Exceptional Newcomer Award by Viv Foley, operations director at Right at Home.

“We are so proud of Ross,” she said. “He is a lovely young man and is really committed to helping and supporting people.

“Everything he does is for the benefit of the clients and he has the right attitude and manner to really make a difference to their lives.

“He is a true inspiration for carers of all ages and is dedicated to his work.

“He is efficient and conscientious in his calls and with his feedback and reporting, and for a first venture into care Ross has been a revelation to us and his clients.”

Viv said Ross has developed his skills through Right at Home’s training programme, but also by using his own initiative and self-development that have really shone through when delivering care.

“His clients trust him implicitly as do his colleagues, co-ordinators and myself as his manager,” she added.

“I know that when Ross is allocated a package of care I am comfortable in the knowledge that he will conduct himself both professionally and competently and will always give his best when at a call.”

Ross is very well thought of in the community, said Viv, and his values and work ethos are second to none, being a great ambassador for the Right at Home company and also a role model for existing carers and others new to the team.

“Ross is exceptional in every way in his role as a carer and in a field of work where male carers are sometimes at a premium, this is a joy to witness and to watch him grow as a carer is something that we find a privilege to be part of,” said Viv.

Mario Kreft, the Chair of Care Forum Wales, said: “There are only winners here tonight so it is only fitting that the finalists have received 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.”