Caring Erin creates Christmas magic on the big day

Wrexham AFC stars of today have been picking up tips from a club legend ahead of a crunch FA Cup match.

A trainee nurse with a heart of gold is adding some festive magic and sparkle at the care home where she works.

Clinical Care Practitioner Erin Jones volunteered to be on duty with the residents of Pendine Park's Bryn Seiont Newydd in Caernarfon on the big day

Erin, who's studying to be a nurse, says there's a special atmosphere in brightly decorated care home at Christmas.

This will be the fourth time in row that she's sacrificed her own Christmas celebrations to be with the people she looks after.

Erin will be one of a festive army of around 60 tinsel-bedecked members of staff working at Bryn Seiont Newydd on the day.

She said: "The atmosphere at Bryn Seiont Newydd is really lovely all year and it steps up a gear at Christmas.

"All the staff work really hard to make it special for the residents. We decorate the lounges and the corridors and the foyer and there are lots of lights, lots of cards and of course a tree.

"And Christmas brings out the residents' personalities too. They share their recollections of how they spent their Christmases in years gone by and how it is different now to when they were perhaps my age. Those stories are always nice to hear.

"We cater for their families too when they come to visit. Christmas can be difficult for them but we play games, pull crackers and sing."

Erin will start work on Christmas Day at 7.30am but because she's also working on Christmas Eve she will have already made a few preparations.

"I'll have made sure all the residents clothes are ready for the big day to save a bit of time during the morning. Then on Christmas morning I'll help them with their morning routine and they'll have their breakfast and we'll have a fun morning opening presents.

"We'll be singing carols, there are always Christmas carols which we all love to sing, and the residents will join in and perhaps a little dancing.

"Then we'll have a three course Christmas lunch of turkey and all the trimmings and crackers. I'm really looking forward to it. A typical day at Bryn Seiont Newydd is always busy, fun and very rewarding. No two days are ever the same," she said.

Erin started working at Bryn Seiont Newydd after completing a Health and Social Care course at Coleg Menai.

"I wanted a career in nursing and came to work here straight from college.

"I started off as a carer and have worked my way up to be a Clinical Care Practitioner and now I'm doing a Nursing degree through the Open University here at Bryn Seiont Newydd.

"When I'm qualified I'll be working here as a nurse," she said.

Erin said working at Bryn Seiont Newydd is very Christmas lunch at about 2.30pm and spend the rest of the day with her parents, Meirion and Jennifer.

The hard work and effort put in by Erin and her colleagues at Bryn Seiont Newydd is greatly appreciated by manager Sandra Evans who will also be at the home on Christmas Day.

She said: "We ask the staff who would like to work on Christmas Day and Erin has always put her hand up and volunteered to do so.

"We are all very grateful to those members of staff who, like Erin, are willing to go the extra mile and give up some valuable family time to be here so they can create some Christmas magic for our residents."

It was a message echoed by Pendine Park proprietor Mario Kreft MBE who said: "People like Erin and the other people working on Christmas Day exemplify all that is best about social care. They are individuals giving up time with their own families at Christmas to spend precious time with other people's family members. They are real Christmas heroes."