A charity boss has received one of the highest possible honours at the social care Oscars.
Tracy Peers, the head of operations at St Asaph-based Cartref Ni Ltd, which supports 35 adults in Denbighshire, Conwy and Flintshire, won the coveted Spirit of Care Award at the Wales Care Awards.
Tracey, who has been the company for 21 years, also won a silver award for Leadership and Management in Support Living at the ceremony at City Hall in Cardiff.
Mother of two Tracy, 47, who lives in Prestatyn, has worked in the social care sector for 30 years.
According to Tracy, she is in a privileged position to help in providing a “person-centred approach” to assist people to lead independent lives, whatever challenges they face.
She has various qualifications including a Diploma in Leadership and Management obtained from Llandrillo College.
Cartref Ni started a quarter of a century ago catering for just a handful of people and has grown to its present strength, able to call on 96 support workers 24-7.
“I mentor staff, and the highest priority must be their quality. I’m passionate about that,” said Tracy.
“We support people with all kinds of issues, ranging from challenging behaviour to learning difficulties, and also dementia. I find myself in a privileged position to try and achieve for them the outcome they would wish for themselves.”
She added after the awards: “I’m thrilled to win them, I was really touched, although it’s a team effort. I reflected on all the people I have worked with and have been mentored by over 30 years.
“It was a lovely evening in a room with so many inspiring people. They made us feel special and it was lovely to see so many other people get high awards as well.”
Chief Executive Neil Ryder, who nominated her, said Tracy had first been a support worker then had developed her skills to become a manager responsible for a group of houses. Now she is in charge of a team of managers across all the houses that Cartref Ni supports.
Mr Ryder said: “In her current role as Head of Operations Tracy is responsible for setting the quality standards and ensuring that the service provided to everyone we support is consistently high.
“There are two aspects to the nomination. First are the technical use and compliance of the Care Council for Wales codes of practice, other codes of conduct and good core operational management, but more important is her constant drive to enhance the lives of the people we support.”
According to Mr Ryder, the original nomination for Tracy’s recognition came from support workers who until recently she managed directly, but then came backing from other Cartref Ni managers, himself and the chair of the Charity’s Board of Trustees. She ensures that staff are fully trained, have regular one-to-ones and team meetings and that plans capture the needs, goals and outcomes for those being supported.
“The extra that Tracy brings is the personal commitment to both staff, the people we support and their families,” declared the chief executive. “Tracy through her management has made the lives of the people we support significantly better.”
The MC for the presentation evening at Cardiff City Hall was opera singer Wynne Evans, aka Gio Compario from the television adverts for Go Compare.
Mario Kreft, the chairman 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.”