Specialism: We are a male only service that provides support for individuals who have moderate learning disabilities, mental health needs, complex and challenging
An imaginative approach to care has enabled local woman, Gwenda, to see off competition from across Wales to secure a bronze award in the category of ‘Leadership and Management in Residential or Nursing Care,’ in the 2016 Wales Care Awards.
Farmer’s daughter Gwenda Potter was brought up next door to Beudygwyn Farm at Carreglefn, near Amlwch, where she now works, and recalls the residents visiting her home.
That inspired her to go into the care profession six years ago and to involve the 12 residents of Beudygwyn Farm in the day-to-day work on the farm.
The people who live there all have learning disabilities, mental health problems or acquired brain injuries and Gwenda said: “Many of them are heavily involved in the work on the farm, one of them cuts the grass and they share the chores.
“It’s a small working farm and having them involved in looking after the sheep and chickens, growing vegetables and collecting eggs is good for them, gives them purpose and new skills, and the knowledge of where the food comes from and how it’s produced.”
The eight-acre smallholding can accommodate up to 14 people and Gwenda, who has a partner and three children, still lives next door and is Welsh-speaking which is often useful as most of the residents are from North Wales.
Other family members had worked at Beudygwyn and Gwenda started there in 2010 as a support worker and trained to become a senior social worker and then deputy manager before taking over.
”I love the job,” she said: “The farm is very rural but it’s only five minutes to the shops and it’s very relaxing and therapeutic.
“It’s very good for the residents to get used to looking after their own environment, to maintain their own home by doing little jobs, and the eggs and vegetables produced here are used in the meals they have.
“I wouldn’t change my job at all. As a farmer’s daughter I’ve got the best of both worlds because I’m on a farm and I enjoy a job where little things can mean so much, like teaching a man to fasten his shoelaces for the first time.”
Gwenda holds regular meetings and training sessions for the residents which gives them a voice in their care and allows them to gain knowledge of their own diagnosis.
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.”
Beudygwyn Farm is a residential service for people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and autism. Further details about the service can be found via the service page below.