A former Benedictine monk has been shortlisted for a top award after setting up a ground breaking advice service to help families to care access funding for care.

Jeremy Nixey is the founder of My Care My Home, which has a base in Pontypool and offers free care advice, a find a care home service and a new scheme to help with funding residential care.

He was a Benedictine monk for 12 years and for some of that time a parish priest, but he left the order when he met his wife as marriage and life as a monk were not compatible.

However, the Benedictine values of serving the community, listening, hospitality and stewardship were useful when his career moved into the care sector.

Today Jeremy is the Chief Executive of the Shaw Foundation and until last year was Chief Executive of Shaw Healthcare (Group) Limited.  Shaw Healthcare has over 4,000 staff and an annual turnover of approximately £120 million and operates over  70  care homes and other facilities.

But it is for his work as founder of My Care My Home that Jeremy has been shortlisted for the prestigious Outstanding Service  category in the annual  Wales Care Awards. As a national finalist, he’ll attend a glittering event at City Hall in Cardiff on Friday, October 21.

The host for the evening will be the popular tenor and BBC Radio Wales presenter, Wynne Evans, who also famously plays the opera singer Gio Compario in the Go Compare TV adverts. The Outstanding Service Award is being sponsored by the Caron Group, with Ontex UK at the event’s main sponsor.

Jeremy was nominated for the award by Samantha Tremlin, who said she hoped his pioneering efforts would find the recognition they deserved.

She said: “Jeremy has dedicated his whole life to helping people and pushing for higher standards in the care industry.

“He continues to innovate and his commitment to ensuring everyone receives the highest standard of care in later-life motivates and inspires everyone around him.”

Explaining his motivation behind the launch of My Care My Home, Jeremy said that there was an urgent need to tackle the issue of funding health care.

“I set up the service because the issue remains an unsolved problem,” he said.

“Health care is an expensive business and there is a much greater need for funding support than the Government has allocated money for.”

My Care My Home offers free advice on funding care, including access to a scheme where the family home can be rented out, rather than sold, to pay care home fees.

“It’s a simple solution that would work for a lot of people,” said Jeremy.

Samantha, who nominated Jeremy for the award added, “People don’t know where to turn when they are facing care home bills. The service can really help and the advice is free.”

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.

All the finalists will receive a gold, silver or bronze award, so nobody goes away empty-handed

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 for ever 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.”