Tackling the challenges of wintry weather together - supporting Gwynedd care staff to get the job done

Date: 09/12/2019

Gwynedd Council and Snowdonia National Park are working together on a new arrangement that will see the Park’s Wardens and other staff help transport care workers to work during wintry weather.

With over a thousand Gwynedd residents dependent on the support of Council home care staff or local companies, the two authorities have come together to ensure that these key staff are able to get to work during when particularly wintry weather sets-in.

As part of the arrangement between Gwynedd Council's Adults, Health and Well-being Department and Snowdonia National Park, Wardens from the Snowdonia National Park will transport carers from house to house in 4x4 vehicles as well as getting staff from the Council's residential homes to work when the weather makes it dangerous or difficult for them to travel in their own vehicles.

Councillor Dafydd Meurig, Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member for Care, said: "For many of the county's vulnerable residents, our home carers are one of the only people they see every day, and the care they provide is so important to over a thousand Gwynedd people who depend on this support.

"The nature and geography of the county means that our staff travel on high ground as part of their work, which can present significant challenges during the long winter months. Whether in the car or on foot, our home care staff do their absolute best to reach residents when the weather turns icy and daylight fades. It’s no easy task and we are extremely grateful to them for their dedication to our residents.

“We are therefore delighted to be working with Snowdonia National Park on a practical solution to winter challenges. By making sensible use of resources, we are able to ensure that the people of Gwynedd who receive home visits from our care staff get the support they need regardless of the weather.”

The day-to-day work of Snowdonia National Park’s Wardens ranges from working on paths, engaging with schools, offering volunteering opportunities and much more. This partnership will add to what they do to serve their communities and beyond.

Adam Daniel, Head of Snowdonia National Park’s Warden Service, said: “We are very proud of this new partnership as it means we as Wardens, and other staff within the Park can offer something extra to our communities during challenging times.

"By harnessing the vast skills and knowledge of the Wardens in their areas, it makes sense to work together to try to support vulnerable people in our communities."

Fiona Sherlock is a home carer for the Council in the Bethesda area. She welcomes the new arrangement.

She said: “In winter, getting to some homes can be a challenge, especially if snow or ice makes traveling difficult.

“We always do our best to reach everyone and know the importance of the support we give, especially in the winter when it is more difficult for older people to leave the house.

“I'm really pleased that an agreement now means that there will be help available to reach the people we support.”

PHOTOGRAPHS: Representatives from Gwynedd Council and Snowdonia National Park who will work together as part of the new arrangement