Training Programme wins Social Care 'Oscar'

A North Wales project which has given pupils an insight into a career in social care has scooped one of the most prominent awards in the Welsh social care sector.

The Pendine Park Teaching Care Centre, which teamed up with the nearby St. Josephs High School won in the ‘Learning about Caring’ category at the Social Care Accolades Awards yesterday.

The project was awarded as joint winners with an initiative based in Neath Port Talbot known as the ‘Golden Heart Awards’. The joint prize was presented by the Deputy Minister for Social Services, Gwenda Thomas AM at a packed gala award ceremony held at Cardiff City Hall.

The project aims to get young people to opt for a career in social care by encouraging them to share their experience while giving them a realistic understanding of what it would be like to be working within the social care sector. 

The Teaching Care Centre’s innovative approach has been so well received by pupils at St Joseph’s, it has helped in the pupils GCSE in health and social care and has been recognised in St Joseph’s Estyn inspection report.

The GCSE course provides students with two qualifications upon completion. To date 100 per cent of pupils have received grades between A and C. Ten pupils have also gone on to study related qualifications in the sixth form.

Tracey Evans, Teaching Care Centre Manager from Pendine Park Teaching Care Centre said: “It is really brilliant to be recognised for our work. For the future of the initiative we are hoping to promote the project throughout other local authorities. We are hoping it will be something that others can take on and promote.”

The project will now work with the Care Council to demonstrate and share best practice within the care sector in workshops to be held in north and south Wales in the autumn. Other organisations will be 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.

The Social Care Accolades, organised by the Care Council for Wales in partnership with others, aim to 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 Accolades visit


Note to editors


  • Social care services in Wales support around 150,000 people at any one time;
  • This means one in 20 of the population is receiving some sort of social care;
  • These services account for more than £1.3bn in public spending;
  • Around 88,000 people are employed as social workers or social care workers;
  • Social care services are delivered by 1,800 statutory, private and voluntary organisations;
  • The Accolades are run by eight organisation from across the social care sector in Wales comprising the Care Council for Wales, Association of Directors of Social Services Cymru, British Association of Social Workers, Care Forum Wales, Care Standards Inspectorate for Wales, Social Services Inspectorate for Wales, Wales Council for Voluntary Action and Welsh Local Government Association.

For further information contact Paula Abbandonato/ Natalie Llewellyn
02920 733526