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Awards win a ‘dream come true’ for Ambulance volunteer Martin


Martin Taylor with his Leadership and Management (Residential) award from the Wales Care Awards 20015.
Martin Taylor with his Leadership and Management (Residential) award from the Wales Care Awards 20015.

A popular care home manager who volunteers with St John’s Ambulance on his days off has won a national award in recognition of his commitment.

Martin Taylor, registered manager at Leadon Court Care Home in Thornhill, Cwmbran, scooped the gold award in the Leadership and Management (Residential) category of the Wales Care Awards 2015.

The award, which was sponsored by Christie & Co, was presented during a ceremony at City Hall in Cardiff.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever entered the awards – I didn’t dream I would get recognised as one of the best care managers in Wales,” said the 33-year-old, who attended the event with his sister Lisa Taylor.

“It’s something I’m going to be able to look back on as my life goes by and I’m in a care home myself and I’ll be proud of the achievement. It’s great for the care industry as a whole and also for prospective residents – it would give me confidence that my parents were going somewhere where they would be well looked after.

“I’m absolutely over the moon and can’t put the feeling into words. It’s fantastic to be recognised for the work we do. I couldn’t do it without my staff, they’re the ones who work really hard and I just help lead the way. It’s an award for all of us.”

He volunteers for up to 30 hours a month

Martin, of Gwent Street, Pontypool, contributes up to 30 hours of his free time every month helping the first aid charity at public events – in addition to his demanding role as leader of a 34-bed nursing home.

He couldn’t make up his mind whether to become a paramedic or a professional care worker when he was a teenager. He eventually decided to combine both his passions and has trained to the highest level in both roles, administering medical care in a variety of dramatic and life-endangering situations and helping his care home residents to lead happier and more comfortable lives.

“I was just born to care”

“I was just born to care,” he said. “I just knew as I was growing up I wanted to either be a paramedic or a carer. I’ve always been that way, looking after people.

“It’s really rewarding when you sit down with an elderly resident and they thank you and tell you how glad they are that you’re in today. It’s the little things like that that show you’re making a difference.”

With his volunteering work, Martin has trained to Emergency Transport Attendant (ETA) level which means he can provide emergency transportation and a high level of responsive first aid care. He is qualified to extract a patient from a car, place an injured patient on a spinal board and even deliver a baby – although this is one scenario he hasn’t yet come across.

“I’ve had situations in work where I’ve had to carry out resuscitation or cardiac arrest and I’ve come across road traffic accidents where I’ve made sure the patients have been ok,” he said. “With my extended skills, I can use a defibrillator and administer oxygen so if anything happens in the care home I can deliver medical care immediately.

“I’ve got a really good team around me”

“I’ve got a really good team around me. We have young girls from 18 years old right up to our oldest carer who’s 70 and has a wealth of experience. The staff have all been here a long time, they’re local and they love coming to work which makes the place what it is.”

Martin has been praised by colleagues for his sensitive approach to end of life care and the support he provides to residents and their family during this difficult time.

“The last person they might see could be ourselves and we’ll sit down and talk about how their day has gone, knowing they can still hear us and that we’re there for them and their families,” he said.

Care Forum Wales

The prestigious national awards, run by Care Forum Wales, acknowledge the hard work and exceptional performances of those in the care sector.

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.

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Awards win a ‘dream come true’ for Ambulance volunteer Martin

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