A positive behavior support worker is up for a prestigious award after ‘enhancing and enriching’ the lives of care home residents.
Max Cusack who works at Ynystawe Lodge, Swansea, will be among the finalists for the prestigious Wales Care Awards, dubbed the Oscars of social care.
He was shortlisted in the Excellence in Learning Disabilities and Mental Health Services category, sponsored by Amaya Care Homes.
The awards, sponsored by Ontex Healthcare, are organized by Care Forum Wales to recognize outstanding work in the care sector.
The ceremony will take place at Cardiff City Hall on October 21, when the host will again be popular and featured tenor on radio Wynne Evans, well known as Gio Compario in Go Compare TV adverts .
The evening, sponsored by Ontex UK, will be broadcast live on the night.
Max’s colleagues say they are amazed at the “outstanding positive results” achieved by those supported at home, some of whom have experienced long hospital stays and struggle to adapt to change.
Ynystawe Lodge, a purpose-built, bespoke residential service owned by M&D Care, accommodates 10 people with learning disabilities and autism.
Max specializes in PBS and, after assessing individuals, is able to work alongside them to help them develop their independence and enrich their lives.
Gemma Howells, Head of People and Culture at M&D Care, said: “Max ensures that delivering positive results for the people he supports is at the forefront of everything he does and that reflected in the remarkable progress made.
“He is passionate about making a difference and improving the quality of life for the most vulnerable members of our society and truly deserves this recognition for his outstanding contribution to care.”
Before moving to South Wales, Max, 26, worked in student guidance units and completed a work placement in America as a behavioral intervention specialist – a huge change of direction for him because he had studied business administration at university.
“I always knew that it was in the area of PBS and intellectual/developmental disabilities that I would love to work,” he said.
Max, from Lincolnshire, said he felt honored by his nomination but felt it reflected the work of the whole team who worked so well together.
“It can definitely be hard work at times, but it’s also the most rewarding. It’s so important to be able to give people a voice,” he said.
Mario Kreft MBE, Chairman of Care Forum Wales, said the aim of the Wales Care Awards was to recognize the unwavering and remarkable dedication of unsung heroes and heroines across Wales.
He said: “The social services industry is full of great people because it’s not just a job, it’s a calling – it’s people who go the extra mile for others.
“During the Covid crisis, this fantastic workforce rose to the challenge magnificently, putting their own lives on the line to do all they could to protect the people they care for.
“Unfortunately, it took a global pandemic for many more people to realize how important and significant our social staff is.
“Their incredible contribution was best summed up in the powerful and moving lyrics of the song, Heroes of our Heart, written by acclaimed poet Mererid Hopwood and sung by Sir Bryn Terfel, which was set to the famous tune from Men of Harlech . The message that the diolch should last forever is one we must never forget.
“If you don’t recognize the people who care for you, you will never provide the standards people need and you will never recognize the value of people who need care in society.
“All nominees deserve praise and applause and it is a real pleasure to honor the contribution of all finalists.
“I congratulate everyone who has shown exceptional dedication and professionalism. Each of them should be proud of their achievement.
“They are the best in Wales.”