A NEWPORT care home worker will be the toast of the bar area he created for residents after being shortlisted for a coveted accolade.

Leighton Griffiths, 30, from St Julian’s has become a popular figure at Capel Grange Community Nursing Home in Newport since he started working there as a facilities assistant in 2011.

His enthusiasm has been rewarded by being nominated in the Commitment to Quality in Hospitality Award at the annual Wales Care Awards, run by Care Forum Wales.

Mr Griffiths' willingness to provide the personal touch for residents grew when his grandmother, Thelma Hackwood, spent the final two years of her life at the home while suffering dementia.

South Wales Argus:

Leighton Griffiths of Capel Grange Community Nursing Home, nominated for commitment to quality in hospitality

“It was an eye-opener. I want to make the home an extremely welcoming place. I don’t want it to feel clinicalised,” he said.

As well as performing important maintenance duties, Mr Griffiths has built up a strong rapport with residents and given up much of his spare time to maximise their experience, which includes devising a bar area where home members can sit down with loved ones and enjoy a drink out of the fridge.

South Wales Argus:

Leighton Griffiths in the bar area with resident John Rafferty

“It catches everyone’s eye when they come to the home,” he added.

“It seems to appeal to everyone. We use it to celebrate birthdays or when there is sport on the TV, with the men’s club regularly using it. It’s nice to see the residents having a good time together.”


It isn’t just in the home that Mr Griffiths helps enhance the lives of residents, as he is also involved in taking them on trips to places such as Cardiff Bay and Celtic Manor.

South Wales Argus:

Leighton Griffiths enjoying a chat in the sun with resident Terrance Vrettos

“I just want to make it a better experience for the residents,” he added.

“My day job at the home is the maintenance, but I want to do as much as I can for the people that are there.”

His commitment has not gone unnoticed, leading to him being nominated by manager Edgar Bautista on behalf of the home in this year’s Wales Care Awards.

Having made the final shortlist, he is looking forward to attending the ceremony at the City Hall in Cardiff on Friday October 18 with wife Jenne.

South Wales Argus:

Leighton Griffiths with resident Brian Granger

“I was very surprised to discover I had been shortlisted,” said Mr Griffiths.

“I’m absolutely delighted. I’d never been in the care home environment before I started working here, but I fell in love with the place.

“Every day is that little bit different and I still really enjoy it now. I know other people may not enjoy what they do for a living, so I feel very lucky.”

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

“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," added Mr Kreft.

“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.”