A training organisation is going from “strength to strength” after teaming up with a further education college.

Smartcare Training, part of the Pendine Park care organisation, is working with Coleg Cambria to improve standards in social care.

In the last four years Wrexham-based Smartcare has helped 550 care practitioners gain NVQs and diplomas in health and social care – with a record number of 194 learners being trained this year.

The latest batch of students were presented with their awards at a special ceremony at the Catrin Finch Centre at Glyndwr University after passing  their Level 2, 3, or 5 health and social care diplomas.

The Mayor of Wrexham, Cllr Alan Edwards was on hand, along with Cllr Jim Kelly, a long-term supporter of Pendine Park, to present the newly qualified learners with their diplomas in front of an audience of family and friends.

Smartcare manager Ann Farr said: “We continue going from strength to strength and now have a team of 16 assessors supporting learners who are working with people in residential care at a number of different establishments across the region.

“We have learners who are all keen to progress their careers and gaining a recognised work-based qualification is an important step. We have young learners and some who are more mature.

“But regardless of age they have worked really well and have collectively shown real enthusiasm for their academic studies as well as their role as professional care practitioners.

“They are taking the knowledge they learn back to their care and residential homes and using their new skills to enrich and improve the lives of the vulnerable people in their care.

“I’m extremely proud of what we have achieved not just in the last 12 months but over the last four years.

Ms Farr was delighted to once again work closely with Coleg Cambria in delivering relevant modern apprenticeships.

She added: “We are looking forward to working with Coleg Cambria in the future to enhance further enhance the modern apprenticeship scheme. We have set a high standard and we will never rest on our laurels.”

It was a sentiment echoed by Coleg Cambria principal and chief executive David Jones.

Mr Jones said: “It is a delight to work with Ann Farr and her Smartcare team and we have a long standing and excellent relationship with Pendine Park Care Organisation.

“The social care sector is so very important to North East Wales and Wrexham in particular and Pendine Park works exceptionally hard to ensure standards of care are always being improved upon.

“It is impressive to see the number of learners that have gained qualifications through Smartcare in just four years and I’m sure we will work even more closely in the future in delivering practical, knowledge-based courses.”

The Mayor of Wrexham, Cllr Alan Edwards, said: “It really is a privilege to be asked to present certificates to so many successful students. Pendine Park Care organisation has developed and grown in Wrexham and is now a major provider of social care.

“The organisation is also a major employer within the town and we should all be proud of their excellent reputation.

“Pendine Park has a superb reputation, not only as a wonderful provider of the very best care the sector can offer, but also as a major training provider for people working in care whether they are new to the role or established care practitioners.”

Former Mayor of Wrexham Cllr Jim Kelly added: “My wife and I are immensely proud to be associated with such a wonderful institution and to have been involved with it, and its staff, for so many years. I think we should be grateful Pendine Park is based here in Wrexham.”