DEPUTY Minister for social services has told of how she is ‘deeply humbled’ by the work being done by Adult Placement Carers in West Wales.
Gwenda Thomas AM met with several AP carers and service users during a recent visit to Carmarthen and Newcastle Emlyn.
She had been invited by the West Wales Adult Placement Service, which provides a service covering Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion, placing vulnerable adults in the care of approved AP carers.
During her visit, the Minister was touched when told stories of how short respite care breaks had benefitted service users.
She was also told about a new social enterprise set up by AP carers to offer information, support and guidance, and was impressed to see a steel sculpture which had been hand-crafted by AP carers and service users.
The Minister said: "I have been extremely impressed by what I have learnt about Adult Placement and am very humbled by the work of the Adult Placement Carers.
"It is good to see councillors, officers and Adult Placement Carers from Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire here today. This is a model of how working together can provide excellent outcomes for those using Adult Placement services and for their families."
During the visit, Mrs Thomas learned of the developments and success of Adult Placement across the three counties.
Amongst the AP carers she met were Helen and Tony Woodman, who have worked with service users to produce several high-profile steel sculptures across the county.
Their latest is a dragon, which has been placed at the gateway to Newcastle Emlyn’s castle in honour of the town’s legendary history with the creatures.
Richard Springett, manager of Adult Placement services in West Wales, said: “We were honoured to welcome the deputy minister and to invite her to meet some of our Adult Placement carers and service users. She showed a genuine interest and enthusiasm of the service, and commented that it was good to meet the diversity of carers who offer a breadth and variety of service options to vulnerable people. She was introduced to families young and old, to AP carers who are also foster carers, and to a number of families who had been supporting people within their own homes for over 20 years.”
The Minister was formally welcomed to Newcastle Emlyn by Mayor Cllr Cefin Evans and, on behalf of the Adult Placement Scheme, Angela Watwood – Head of Community Care Commissioning for Pembrokeshire County Council.
The Minister was introduced to Cllr Alan Jones, who was instrumental in securing a grant for the development of facilities at the castle from the Rural Development Plan which led to the dragon gateway project being progressed, and county councillor Hazel Evans.
For further information about Adult Placement, visit www.westwaps.org.uk or call 01267 224200.
PIC: Deputy Minister for social services, Gwenda Thomas, pictured during her visit to Newcastle Emlyn to meet Adult Placement carers, service users and supporters of the West Wales Adult Placement Scheme. Pictured in the background is the new steel dragon sculpture at the gateway to the town’s castle. Pic Jeff Connell