A DEDICATED care worker who lives with a debilitating condition that causes constant pain has become the toast of the social care industry with a national award.

Tracy Roberts, from Llangollen, has scooped a coveted bronze award in the residential care practitioner category, sponsored by the Older People’s Commissioner, at the Wales Care Awards 2018.

Now in their 15th year, the national awards are organised by care industry champions Care Forum Wales which is also toasting 25 years’ of service this year.

Sponsored this year by Onyx Healthcare, they acknowledge the hard work and exceptional performances of those in the care sector.

Tracy, who is employed as a senior care practitioner at Plas Bod Llwyd Residential Home, in Newbridge, near Wrexham, collected her award at a glittering awards ceremony held at City Hall in Cardiff.

It is a well-deserved reward for the dedicated care worker who suffers with a condition called fibromyalgia, which causes widespread pain across the body, extreme fatigue and muscle stiffness.

The 48-year-old has barely had a day off sick since joining the residential home 15 years ago and admits that caring for other people “keeps her going”.

“I’m really chuffed and excited,” said Tracy, who has two daughters aged 25 and six, and a son aged 23.

“I never like singing my praises, I’d rather keep it all to myself, but at the end of the day it’s nice to be recognised.

“I wouldn’t change my job for the world.”

Tracy, who attended school in Cefn Mawr and set up a mother and toddlers group in the area after the birth of her first two children, started working at Plas Bod Llwyd as a care practitioner in 1998, joining her sister, Sharon Buffy, who already worked at the home.

“My job keeps me going,” admitted Tracy, who has completed her NVQ levels two, three, four and five while working at the home.

“My daughter at home keeps me going and my children and grandchildren.

"I simply don’t have the time to think about being in pain.

“I really love my job.

"That’s why I’ve been here for 15 years.

"I wouldn’t change a thing.

"I would like to thank the manager, staff and my family for all the support they have given me during this difficult time.”

Plas Bod Llwyd manager Judith Richards described Tracy as an inspiration to staff and residents.

“I am constantly amazed by the sheer dedication and enthusiasm she applies to her role on an ongoing basis,” she said.

“She has an impeccable attitude and always works hard to provide a high quality, person-centred service to every individual resident, often going beyond her remit.”

Mario Kreft, the chair of Care Forum Wales, added: “There are only winners here tonight so it is only fitting that the finalists have 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.”