A care home manager with a nursing career spanning over 25 years has been described as the “perfect definition of a leader” who puts colleagues and residents “at the forefront of everything.”

Sujjata Singh worked in the Middle East in areas such as psychiatric and oncology, but it’s her pioneering role at Ty Enfys Care Home, Pentwyn, Cardiff that’s seen her shortlisted for a prestigious award.

It is Sujjata’s passion for her caring role that has landed her a place in the final of 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.

Sujjata, who lives in Newport with her husband is shortlisted for the Independent Sector Nurse of the Year Award, with the category also being sponsored by Ontex Healthcare.

The 61-year-old who’s worked at Ty Enfys for 13 years, has a firm belief that the best way to achieve outstanding leadership and have a strong team starts with her.

Her admirable ethos has pumped through the heart of Ty Enfys, run by Hallmark Care Homes, ever since she joined in 2009.

Sujjata can always be found lending her help, knowledge and expertise to team members, residents and visitors alike, making them feel valued from ordering pizzas and encouraging personal development, to fighting for equality in wages and a better future.

Her open door policy means everyone knows how to reach out to her and she will always dedicate time to listen.

.Bethan Hurley, Customer Relationship Manager  who nominated the grandmother-of-two said: “The team is always encouraged to contribute ideas and suggestions to improve the home and things for the residents.

“Sujjata strongly believes that the team’s ideas are key to the effective running of the home and… gives a feeling of inclusion for all.

“An important factor to motivating your team is to know and understand them all. Talking to them and finding out what they need and where they are. Sujjata will always offer time to listen to anyone and this results in a culture of mutual respect.

“Sujjata is the perfect definition of a leader – she’s honest, courageous, she has integrity and has a clear focus.”

She added: “Ty Enfys would not be the same home without Sujjata at the forefront and we are always thankful for her continued guidance, dedication and support.”

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Sujjata had to adapt quickly and consistently, keeping abreast of all updates and changes from Public Health Wales and the Welsh Government with strength and compassion.

Her dedicated team said she did this “with great courage and integrity” with the Ty Enfys family – including its 101 residents – being her main focus.

She even held mindfulness and yoga sessions for hardworking staff as well as insisting on picnic lunches in the fresh air.

She has been described as “warm and welcoming to anyone who needs anything, whether work or personal” and lets families know she is available day or night – often providing them with treats and gifts.

About being shortlisted, Sujjata said she was “really humbled, delighted and lost for words.”

She added: “When I came to work over here, I had never seen so many elderly people, it was a shock to the system but what I very quickly found out is what they need more than anything else is love and compassion.

“I come from a culture where we take care of our elderly at home so when I came here, I had that same passion.

” Just because someone’s older , it doesn’t mean they have to stop living.

“Here I have the chance to make a difference to someone’s life every single day, it’s the best job in the world.”

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.”