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A man who decided to switch to a career in caring after visiting a Dolgellau residential home to do some building work and eventually rising to become its manager, has won a top award at the 2016 Wales Care Awards.
Andrew Papirynk visited Cerrig Camu in Dolgellau in the winter of 2004 to carry out some labouring work for the firm he was with at the time.
He quickly struck up a rapport with some of its residents and immediately opted to make caring his profession.
Nine years later Andy was appointed as Cerrig Camu’s registered manager and has been commended for the way he runs the service, and credited for helping integrate clients with learning disabilities and mental health needs into the community.
It is this dedicated approach to his caring role that landed Andy, 30, the Gold Award for ‘Excellence in Learning Disability and Mental Health’ in the annual Wales Care Awards.
Originally from Barmouth, after finishing school at Ysgol Ardudwy in Harlech, Andy went straight into the building trade.
He said: “I’d been working as a labourer for a couple of years when I went to Cerrig Camu to do some building work there.
“At that stage I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life, but when I started to talk with some of the service users and managed to build up a rapport with them I felt that caring was a career I could go into.
“Not long afterwards I started at Cerrig Camu as a support worker and then gradually worked my way up through the ranks, going from team leader and support manager until I became service manager in June 2013.”
Mario Kreft MBE, Chairman of Care Forum Wales, said: “The aim of the Wales Care Awards 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.”
Cerrig Camu is run by Regard, the UK’s fourth largest private organisation which provides supported living and residential services for people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and acquired brain injury.
Regard is one of just four of the 17,000 care organisations in the country to have achieved the Gold Standard from Investors in People which – to quote the head of the accrediting body – acknowledges Regard’s “great people management practice, and commitment to being the very best it can be.”
There are currently four rooms available in the recently refurbished 14-bed manor house which is at the heart of Cerrig Camu. The building is divided into three separate services, each self-contained on its own separate floor, with shared living rooms and a kitchen diner on each floor where people can come together to socialise.
Two of the available rooms are wheelchair-accessible en-suite rooms on the first floor, sharing facilities with three other individuals; one is a second-floor en-suite room, sharing facilities with two other people, and the fourth vacancy is a ground-floor self-contained flat. All care packages are person-centred and tailored to the needs of the individual. Further details about the service can be found via the service page below.