A positive behavioural support manager so passionate about her role that she “lights up” when she talks about it is in the running for a national award.

Shelley Swain works for Fieldbay (part of the Envivo Group) in Swansea helping to care for people with complex mental health and learning disability needs who require a high level of care, support and rehabilitation.

With a background in psychology and training in positive behavioural support and analysis, Shelley is always “placing the needs of the individual at the heart of what she does.”

It is Shelley’s passion for her caring role that has landed her a place in the final of the major national competition, the 2022 Wales Care Awards, dubbed the social care Oscars..

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 event, that’s being sponsored by Ontex Healthcare, will be streamed live on the night.

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.

Shelley, who lives in Port Talbot and has worked for Fieldbay for two-and-a-half years, is shortlisted for the Leading Practice in Learning Disability and Mental Health Services Award, with the category being sponsored by Amaya Care.

The 30-year-old has worked in the care sector for five years and now manages a team of six staff across all of the Fieldbay settings in South and West Wales.

Colleagues described her as a role model and said in a relatively short space of time, she has changed the ethos and turned the positive behavioural support service into a flagship service through high quality training and support.

They said: “Passionate is a much-overused word but Shelley really is passionate about positive behavioural support.”

“She is always looking for ways to improve the service and she lights up when she is talking about it.

She is also modest (possibly too much so, she really does deserve some personal recognition). She always attributes positive feedback to the team which reflects her democratic leadership style.”

Shelley’s role includes leading the team and developing the service, but she also conducts face to face work with people we support.

She leads from the front and is described as a respectful professional who brings about change through relationship building.

The training she delivers is warm, interesting and reflects her empathy and person-centred approach.

Shelley’s notable achievements include her work in developing learning, so colleagues had a deeper understanding of Huntington’s Disease. Fieldbay is a recognised member of the Huntington’s Association.

About being shortlisted, Shelley, who lives with her partner said: “Being nominated was really nice and unexpected, it made me feel really valued.

I’m not used to accepting praise or talking about myself but I’m really overwhelmed and really grateful for my team as I couldn’t do it without them, it really is a team effort.”

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.”