A nurse from the Philippines will be honoured at the ‘social care Oscars’ after finding herself in Wrexham by chance.
Jocelyn De Guzman, 48, has worked at Highfield Care Home on Summerhill Road since arriving in the UK in 2004.
As a girl she dreamed of working in London, but when the time came for her to leave the beautiful South East Asian island where she lived with her extended family, the application papers arrived too late!
She said: “A friend knew someone who worked in Wales so I applied and got the go-ahead before the papers arrived from London.
“I am so glad because I love the warm-hearted Welsh people. They have made me so welcome.”
Jocelyn is in the running for Nurse of the Year after being nominated by colleagues for a Wales Care Award.
Her ‘compassion and commitment’ to caring for people with a wide range of physical disabilities has impressed them all and in 2010 she was promoted from registered nurse to clinical lead.
She added: “I suppose caring for elderly people comes naturally to me because in the Philippines I nursed my grandparents.
“They lived with us from when I was a teenager which is the norm over there. When they passed away it was my chance to follow my dream.
“I still miss some things, especially the weather! But I share a home in Wrexham with the friend I travelled over with back in 2004 so we have helped each other adapt to the British way of life.”
Jocelyn trained as a nurse in the Philippines and was taught English in school.
She has perfected her language skills and even manages the odd Welsh phrase taught to her by residents.
She added: “They have taught me how to say ‘Good morning’ and ‘cup of tea’ in Welsh. They like to hear me trying, but I don’t think I will get any further than that!”
Tracey Smith, manager of the 35-bed home, said Jocelyn was not one to “blow her own trumpet”.
In nominating her for the award, she said: “Jocelyn is a role model to everyone, including myself, always giving 100 per cent commitment to delivering the highest standards of care for our residents.
“Relatives make a beeline for her as they trust her to listen, support and act on their worries or concerns.
“She is first in, last out and just a lovely, kind person.”
Jocelyn will hear if she has scooped Nurse of the Year at the Wales Care Awards ceremony at Cardiff City Hall on November 17.
The evening will be hosted by top tenor and radio presenter Wynne Evans, who is perhaps better known as Gio Compario from the Go Compare TV ads.
Mario Kreft, chairman of Care Forum Wales, said the awards had gone from strength to strength.
He said: “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.
“It is a pleasure to honour the contribution of all the finalists.
“Each and every one of them should be very proud of their achievement.”
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