mum Christine Lewis is in the running for a top award after providing residents of a care home with a fun-packed social life.
As wellbeing and activities
co-ordinator at Highfield Care Home in Wrexham she organises art and craft classes, bingo and even a mid-week Chinese or curry take-away.
It’s all part of Christine’s strategy to help enrich the lives of the residents to ensure they always have have something to look forward to.
Her endless enthusiasm and constant stream of ideas has earned her a place in the finals of the Wales Care Awards in the Promoting Fulfilled Lives category.
Her plans for the autumn months include a Macmillan coffee morning, Halloween party, Bonfire night fireworks and a Remembrance service.
At Christmas she comes into her own, organising a panto performance and at New Year she leads the Congo dance round the home.
Thursday is film night and on Saturday residents enjoy a sing-along to songs from a book she made herself.
Formerly a cleaner in the home, Christine, of Wrexham, stepped into the role 18 months ago and has a diary packed with activities.
Throughout the summer months she introduced the ice-cream trolley – and went about the home offering flake-topped 99s!
Christine, 57, said: “The residents love a Wednesday take-away and they chat about whether they will have a curry or fish and chips.
“Film nights are popular too. Dirty Dancing was a big hit with them last week. Quizzes keep their minds active and they like to get a bit competitive.
“I try to get the families involved as much as possible. It’s nice for the residents to share the activities with their loved ones. It’s all about enriching their lives and helping them enjoy their final years.”
Christine, a mother of three grown up children, is a dab hand at the craft table.
She made sponge fingers painted red for Halloween last year and has just put the finishing touches to an artificial white tree covered in leaves for autumn. In November it will be adorned with poppies.
On Valentine’s Day she ensures every resident has a card and red rose. On St David’s Day she places daffodils round the home.
She added: “I like to think what I do aids wellbeing by lifting the spirits and enriching the lives of the residents through various activities and the arts.
“It’s a busy little social life for the residents and it’s lovely to see them all getting involved and having a good time.”
Colleagues who nominated her for the award say she is the ‘heart’ of the home on Summerhill Road.
Manager Tracey Smith said: “Really she just doesn’t know how good she is. She enriches the lives of more than 60 residents. We all adore her.”
Christine will hear if she has won the category at the Wales Care Awards ceremony at Cardiff City Hall this Friday, November 17.
The awards will be hosted by tenor and radio presenter Wynne Evans, better known as Gio Compario from the Go Compare TV ads.
Mario Kreft MBE, chairman of Care Forum Wales, said the awards had gone from strength to strength.
“The event is now firmly established as one of the highlights in the Welsh social care calendar,” he said.
“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.”
See full story in the Leader