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Mother Christmas Hannah is as good as gold

Care home administrator and Mother Christmas Hannah Clatworthy-Edwards has struck gold.

Hannah, who has helped to run the Ystrad-based 70-bed Rhondda Care Home for close on a decade, snatched the top prize in the Commitment to Quality in Housekeeping and Hospitality category at the Wales Care Awards at Cardiff City Hall.

Making the presentation on behalf of category sponsor HCC Wales Ltd was Lesley Griffiths AM, the Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty.

Hannah, who lives in Elizabeth Street, Pentre, not only organises the 106-strong workforce employed at the home but also chairs the activities committee set up to enhance the day-to-day lives of residents.

On top of that, she acts as a personal shopper for the residents, last year setting herself the task of ensuring that everyone received the Christmas gifts they wanted, and 12 months on Hannah is determined not to rest on her laurels.

“I was ecstatic to win the gold award,” she said. “I had an absolutely fabulous time and I felt like a million dollars.

“A lot of the residents don’t have family members so I go out once a month to buy toiletries for everyone. It’s a mammoth task because I buy a wide variety of brands and let the residents have a choice.

“We’ve started selling the tickets for our main Christmas fund-raiser on December 12, which is a disco in a local club, and it won’t be long before I begin compiling the residents’ lists for Christmas.

“I’m starting a bit earlier than last year by looking around because I don’t want to buy the first thing that comes to mind. I need to wander around to see what’s what.

“I’ll probably start the shopping towards the end of the month, although I’ve already bought all the tins of sweets for the residents and the staff. We have four different units so it’s a case of buying in bulk and when things are on offer.

“The Christmas list is coming down slowly and then it will be time to start thinking about fund-raising next year.”

Alison Edwards, a receptionist at the home and one of several staff members who nominated Hannah for the award, said: “I don’t know how she manages to stay so organised and on top of her work because she does an amazing job and is always happy to help everyone.”

First held in 2003, the Wales Care Awards are an annual fixture in the social care calendar. They reward the champions of the sector and raise public awareness of the vital contribution made by the social care workforce to the health and wellbeing of the people of Wales.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, which was hosted by BBC Wales newsreader Lucy Owen, Mario Kreft, the Chair of Care Forum Wales, said: “There are only winners here tonight so it is only fitting that the finalists will receive a gold, silver or bronze Wales Care Award.

“I trust that they will continue to inspire those around them as role models and encourage others to aspire to even greater heights in the months and years to come.

“This awards ceremony is our opportunity to pay tribute and to celebrate the talent and commitment that is improving the quality of life for thousands and thousands of people throughout Wales.

“We take our hats off to them.”