Welsh language project wins social care ‘Oscar’

A project, which encourages employees of Ceredigion County Council to use Welsh in their day-to-day dealings with the general public, has won one of the most sought-after awards in the Welsh social care sector.

The project called ‘Iaith Ar Waith’ scooped the win in the category ‘Learning Together’ at the Social Care Accolades Awards yesterday.

The prize was presented by the Deputy Minister for Social Services, Gwenda Thomas AM at a packed gala award ceremony in Cardiff.

Iaith Ar Waith was acknowledged by the judges for its success in adding real value to its Welsh speaking services through practical support and improved administration. The result of the programme was a workforce using Welsh more often, more confidently and with more proficiency.

Allan Jones, Assistant Director of Social Services at Ceredigion County Council said: “I’m extremely pleased that our efforts to encourage and facilitate an effective service in Welsh have today been recognised by being awarded a Social Care Accolade. I’d like to congratulate our Contact Centre staff and Operational Manager and express my appreciation to Cwmni Iaith cyf who worked in partnership with us during the Iaith ar Waith project to mainstream use of the Welsh Language and add value to our service to the public. “The Social Care Accolades are one of the most sought-after awards in the social care sector in Wales and it was gratifying for our staff to receive the award from Gwenda Thomas, Deputy Minister for Social Services, at today’s prestigious event”.

As winners, the Iaith Ar Waith team will now work with the Care Council of Wales to demonstrate and share best practice within the care sector in workshops to be held in north and south Wales in the autumn. Here, other organisations will learn from the experiences and successes of the winning projects.

Mutale Merrill, Chair of the Care Council for Wales, said: “The Accolades are a wonderful celebration of good practice, recognising groups for their excellence and improving services for users by learning from their success. We encouraged organisations to submit entries that support the aims of the Welsh Assembly Government’s 10-year social care strategy, ‘Fulfilled Lives, Supportive Communities’, which are to modernise services and provide more accessible personalised care for people.

“We have again this year seen some incredible examples of organisations really pushing the boundaries to add value to people’s lives. The standards of this year’s finalists were high and the judges had a very difficult task in deciding on the winners of the 2009 Accolades.

“We hope the awards will not only provide a public platform to celebrate and share best practice, but will also help attract more skilled people into the growing workforce,” she added.

Gwenda Thomas, Deputy Minister for Social Services said at the awards ceremony: “This is a prestigious and eagerly anticipated event that plays a key role in celebrating good practice in the social care sector in Wales. People working in social care have to deal with probably the most difficult and challenging situations facing any worker- they are demanding but rewarding jobs that are making a real difference to the lives of the people of Wales.

“These Social Care Accolades are a great opportunity to showcase the very best of what is going on in our communities. I know from travelling throughout Wales the importance that is placed on these awards by organisations and staff; it gives them a real boost and renewed confidence for the future and we should never underestimate the value of rewarding the most inspirational and innovative social care services in Wales.”

The aim of the Accolades – now being held for the third time – is to uncover, recognise and publicly reward teams, partnerships and organisations, which have helped transform social care services in their area by investing in the learning and development of their people.

For more information on the Social Care Accolades visit www.ccwales.org.uk