Inspirational Sean in running for top award

A dedicated young man who overcame dyslexia and dyspraxia is in the running for a major award after helping others with similar problems.

Because of his personal background and his ability to empathise with those in his care Sean Doyle has proved a “natural”, a skill which colleagues at Options Kinsale School in Llannerch y mor, near Holywell, quickly came to appreciate.

Now Sean, 23, has been shortlisted in this year’s Wales Care Awards, organised by Care Forum Wales to recognise exceptional work in the care sector.

The awards ceremony will take place in City Hall, Cardiff, on November 17, and will be hosted by singer and presenter Wynne Evans, popularly known as Gio Compario in the Go Compare TV adverts.

Sean, who lives in Portbury Walk, New Ferry in Wirral, has been nominated in the category for Exceptional Newcomer, and he is the first employee of Options Kinsale to have been shortlisted.

Options Kinsale, which is run by Options Autism and is part of Outcomes First Group, is an independent residential specialist school which provides a holistic service to children aged between 8-18 with autistic spectrum conditions and associated complex needs.

Sean began working there about 18 months ago, having previously provided one-to-one care for a young man.

“It has always been my ambition to work in the care sector,” he said.

The dyslexia and dyspraxia created difficulties in gaining formal qualifications and he dropped out of university.

But according to Kinsale’s registered manager Becky Farmer, who nominated him for the award, his determination to gain his Level 3 diploma in health and social care, which he achieved in less than 12 months, impressed colleagues and boosted his self-esteem.

“Sean is a natural practitioner who follows and adheres to the Code of Practice in all areas of his work. He is exceptional due to his natural manner and commitment to the young people,” she said.

At Kinsale Sean supports five young people who have autism, ADHD, learning disabilities and attachment disorders and his fellow team members described him as “enthusiastic, positive and cheerful.”

“He ensures the young people have a fulfilled life, full of opportunities that they have not experienced before,” said Becky. “He shows total empathy to the young people and provides a warm, caring environment.”

Sean said he was “in shock” to learn he had been shortlisted for the award but felt his experience certainly helped his relationship with the youngsters.

“I find it so rewarding to see the young people progressing and gaining in confidence,” he said, “and I would like to progress within the company.”

Though his work shifts now limit his spare time he enjoys playing snooker and participating in martial arts, especially Taekwondo. He is now looking forward to attending the glittering awards evening.

Mario Kreft MBE, the Chair of Care Forum Wales, said the Wales Care Awards had gone from strength to strength.

He said: “The event is now firmly established as one of the highlights in the Welsh social care calendar.

“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.”