The head of operations of a charity which seeks to help vulnerable people to support themselves is in the running for a social care Oscar.
Colleagues believe the accolade is richly deserved for Tracy Peers, who for 21 years has worked for St Asaph based Cartref Ni Ltd, which supports 35 adults in Denbighshire, Conwy and Flintshire.
Tracy, 47, who has children aged 22 and 15, has worked in the social care sector for 30 years.
On Friday, October 21, she’ll be travelling to Cardiff for the annual Wales Care Awards, the social care Oscars organised by Care Forum Wales, at Cardiff City Hall, where she has been shortlisted in the Leadership and Management in Supported Living category.
Naturally thrilled to receive a nomination, Tracy, of Prestatyn, believes 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.”
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.”
Mario Kreft MBE, chairman of Care Forum Wales, said the Wales Care Awards had gone from strength to strength. He said: “The event is now firmly established as one of the highlights in the Welsh social care calendar. The aim is to recognise the unstinting and often remarkable dedication of our unsung heroes and heroines across Wales.
“The care sector is full of wonderful people because it’s not just a job it’s a vocation – these are the people who really do have the X Factor.
“If you don’t recognise the people who do the caring you will never provide the standards that people need and never recognise the value of the people who need the care in society.
“We need to do all we can to raise the profile of the care sector workforce – they deserve to be lauded and applauded.”