THE COUNTDOWN is on to the South Wales Argus Health and Care Awards which take place at Chepstow Racecourse on October 19.

Finalists from the 15 award categories will be gathering for our special presentation event to celebrate their achievements.

One of the 15 award categories that will be awarded is the Early Years Award which aim to recognise the work to improve the health of children and young people.

St John’s College Cardiff is sponsoring the award. The school, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, takes pupils from the ages of three to 18.

Assistant head of external relations Maureen Bridge said: “As a school with a strong reputation for nurturing the young we feel it is vitally important to share our good fortune.

“Therefore, we have great pleasure in sponsoring the Early Years Health Care Award.

“We are proud to participate in a celebration and recognition of those unsung heroines and heroes of a healthcare sector that looks after us from the cradle to the grave.”

The Early Years Award will recognise individuals who have made significant contribution to the health of children, whether in medicine, science, community or public health.

Nominees do not need to be doctors or medical professionals, the award is open to anyone who has helped to improve the health of children in and around Gwent or further afield.

There are three finalists in the running for the award.

Puddle Ducks South East Wales offer baby and preschool swimming lessons for children. Launched in November 2016, they aim of instil a love of water in children that will last a lifetime.

They are taught vital personal survival skills and water confidence and classes are also a bonding experience for parents and children in the supportive class setting.

Another finalist is Rougemont Nursery. Established in 1925, the ethos of the nursery is focused on the care, well-being and education of boys and girls from the age of three. Health and well-being is a major focus and they aim to ensure that the seeds of living a healthy life are sown right at the very start of a child’s education.

Dr Srinivas Mankal from Park Surgery in Newport is also a finalist. He uses his years of experience in paediatrics to take care of the surgery’s younger patients.

He trained as an MD in paediatrics, a post-graduate course which deals with the medical care given to children especially who are below the age of 12 years.

Dr Mankal has used his knowledge saved a number of children’s lives during his career.

The winner of the award will be announced at the presentation event

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