Care home stars Nicole and Sioned hailed as role models

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Deputy Minister, Julie Morgan MS (centre) with Nicole Davies and Sioned Jones

Two young women from Gwynedd have been hailed as “role models” after rising through the ranks to top jobs at a care home.

Nicole Davies, 27, and Sioned Jones, 26, signed up with the Step into Care programme which was run by the Pendine Park organisation in partnership with the Prince’s Trust nearly eight years ago and have never looked back.

They completed a three-week course which included a week’s work experience at Pendine’s Bryn Seiont Newydd in Caernarfon which specialises in dementia care.

Nicole has now been promoted to head housekeeper at the home and Sioned is responsible for health and safety there.

The pair received glowing praise from Julie Morgan MS, the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, during a visit to Bryn Seiont Newydd when she revealed they had met before.

She said: “It’s been great meeting staff who are committed to delivering such important services. Seeing Nicole and Sioned, who I met when they were part of the Prince’s Trust scheme, has been inspiring and reminds us all that social care is a rewarding career where you can develop and progress.

“They’ve been nurtured, given great training and are doing an excellent job. They came here on work experience and found a great career they feel passionate about.

“It’s lovely to see young people flourishing and being so fulfilled.”

According to Nicole and Sioned, neither of them knew what they wanted to do after completing their college courses.

Nicole, from Penygroes, said: “I had no idea what I wanted to do and I thought I would take up the offer of the Prince’s Trust and found I really enjoyed it. I’m really glad that I took that three week course because it really helped me. Then I applied for a full-time job at Bryn Seiont Newydd and here I am.”

“I was very shy when I came here but now I’m much more confident,” she added.

Nicole started with the housekeeping team as a care support worker and quickly became a supervisor and later Head Housekeeper she is responsible for a large team of staff and training new hires.

“I was promoted head housekeeper in July 2020 That was when we were still in lockdown because of Covid-19. That was a very difficult time but we all worked as a team and did really well to keep it away from here.”

Sioned lives in Llanllyfni  and also started with the housekeeping team before spending some time as a carer at Bryn Seiont Newydd.

She said: “I didn’t know what I wanted to do and I never really thought about the care industry until I signed up for the course with the Prince’s Trust.

“I began in housekeeping but then I worked in care support. Coming into an environment such as Bryn Seiont Newydd was scary at first but I soon got into it.

“The best thing about working at Bryn Seiont Newydd is getting to know residents and engaging with them. It’s so important to help them remain as independent as possible.

“When I thought I’d like something a little different I moved into health and safety. I’ve done the training and I look after all aspects of health and safety. It is  very different here at Bryn Seiont Newydd to elsewhere but is just as important. I think the role suits me very well,” she said.

Bryn Seiont Newydd manager Sandra Evans said Sioned and Nicole had “slotted perfectly” into the day-to-day life of the care home from the day they started.

“We are very proud of both Sioned and Nicole. The residents at Bryn Seiont Newydd have benefited from the efforts they have made to make the best of their careers. They are excellent workers and, as time has gone by, they have really blossomed and put in the effort to be promoted to the posts they hold here today.”

Pendine Park owner Mario Kreft MBE added the company are committed to supporting people of all ages coming to work in care and support the Prince’s Trust and the ‘truth  about youth’ project.

Mr Kreft said: “Of those taking part in the Prince’s Trust scheme we have conversion rate of more than 50 per cent into employment and Nicole and Sioned are shining examples of what you can achieve. They’re great role models.

“We are very proud of the training and personal development programmes we have created. It is something we have been doing for more than 20 years so we can provide high quality care, with the emphasis on the long-term wellbeing of our residents and staff.”

The Prince’s Trust charity was founded in 1976 by King Charles III (then the Prince of Wales) to help and support young people aged 11-to-30-year-olds who are unemployed or facing issues such as homelessness, disability or mental health problems.

Last November it was announced The Prince’s Trust, and all Prince’s Trust charities globally, intend to become The King’s Trust with the newly enthroned monarch as its president.

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