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Royal chef who cooked up new career in caring, wins Bronze at the Wales Care Awards


A chef who cooked for members of the royal family and joined the care sector for a ‘complete change’ when he hit middle age, has won Bronze at the prestigious Wales Care Awards.

Simon Moore studied for a health and social care qualification at college, then found a fresh recipe for success when he joined The Regard Group’s Cerrig Cornel supported living scheme in Llanegryn near Tywyn - where he rose through ranks to become the registered domiciliary manager.

Along with his dedicated team he is now credited with bringing about a massive change in the service, and it is his dedication and committed approach to his caring role that has landed 53-year-old Simon a place in the final of, the 2018 Wales Care Awards.

This was the 15th anniversary of the awards and the glittering presentation ceremony was held at City Hall in Cardiff on Friday October 19.

The awards are in association with Care Forum Wales, a not-for-profit organisation which is celebrating its own 25th anniversary this year. It was set up in 1993 to give independent care providers a single professional voice with which to speak about one of the most important issues of our time – how to provide better quality care for those who need it most.

Simon was shortlisted for the Leadership and Management in Supported Living or Small Group Community Living Award, and won Bronze.

Originally from Stourbridge in the Midlands, Simon, who has been a widower for the past three years, began his working life by qualifying as a chef.

For a spell he was on the staff of London’s famous Guild Hall where amongst the guests he recalls serving at a glittering banquet was Princess Anne and her then-husband Captain Mark Phillips.

However, when he reached his 40s, Simon felt it was time for a change of career direction. He hung up his chef’s whites for good, and enrolled at Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor in Dolgellau, which he left with a diploma in health and social care.

Simon said: “When I reached middle age I thought it was time I did something completely different so I chose social care.

“My mother and father were foster parents for many years and also adopted two children, and as a youngster I helped them look after the children who came to stay with us, who had often struggled in their lives.

“So it was sort of in-bred in me to want to look after people and help them to reach their potential.

“It was a natural thing for me to go into social care, and nine years ago I started at Cerrig Cornel as a part-time relief staff member. I gradually worked my way through the ranks and became Registered Domiciliary Service Manager two years ago.

“We are a supported living service consisting of individual units providing support and accommodation for 14 adults over the age of 18 with learning disabilities, autism, mental health, substance misuse issues and complex challenging behaviours.

“We offer a unique service where they are tenants of their own homes in a converted farm house.

“I’m also responsible for a day care service called OWL which stands for Outcomes With Learning and provides support to 16 individuals in a range of activities. It’s the first of its kind in Wales, is open to people from Gwynedd, Dyfed, Anglesey and surrounding areas and focuses on supporting individuals with complex and challenging needs.”

One of Cerrig Cornel’s success stories is a man named Llyr who secured himself a voluntary role at the local Co-op superstore. As a result he has grown in confidence and has greater autonomy in decisions affecting his daily life.

Supporting Simon’s nomination for the awards, an officer of Gwynedd Council says of him: “I find him to be very approachable, respectful and considerate towards clients and staff alike, valuing both as people with strengths and needs. He is gentle and reflective and patient.”

The Locality Manager and Regional Director at Regard say that since being in post Simon and his team have “facilitated massive change in the service”, achieving compliance in both internal quality and health and safety audits as well as external inspections.

Simon added: “I was overwhelmed at being shortlisted for the Wales Care Awards but I do love my job, mainly because of the sense of achievement I get when I see people reach their personal goals knowing I have been part of it.

“However, it’s definitely been a team effort and my staff are fantastic. Regard are also an exceptional employer who have made it possible for me to progress.”

Mario Kreft MBE, the Chair of Care Forum Wales, said the Wales Care Awards had gone from strength to strength.

He said: “This year’s ceremony was an even more special occasion because it marked the 15th anniversary of the Wales Care Awards and the 25th anniversary of Care Forum Wales and the event is now firmly established as one of the highlights in the Welsh social care calendar.

“The aim 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 Cornel


Cerrig Cornel is available for adults 18 years and over.

Specialism: The service is registered to provide support to people who have