A MAINTENANCE man who visited a nursing home to cut grass and ended up staying 15 years, has been nominated for a major award.

Handyman Nikolas Williams keeps the gardens at College Fields, in Barry, tidy and he has also undertaken specialist dementia training which has inspired him to take on tasks such as painting residents’ doors in familiar shades that are easy for the residents to remember.

The 38-year-old also drives residents to shops, the beach and for pub lunches to ensure smiles are put on their faces whenever possible.

His dedication and commitment has landed the Barry resident a place in the final of the 2018 Wales Care Awards on Friday, October 19.

He has been shortlisted for Care Forum Wales’ Commitment to Quality in Housekeeping and Hospitality award.

Mr Williams said: “The home’s regular gardener was off sick and they were looking for a part-time replacement so I turned up, did the work and have never left.

“Since then I’ve learned quite a bit about it and sort of grown into the job.

“I’ve done all the dementia training which allows me to properly interact with residents.

“It’s enabled me to put myself into their shoes and to see how they feel and I try to make them as comfortable as possible.

“One of the things about living with dementia is that the colour of your front door can sometimes look familiar.

“I’ve therefore painted the residents’ doors in whatever colour they like and we now have all sorts of shades from orange to purple but I reckon beigey brown is the most popular.

“We also went a bit further by painting the residents’ wet rooms in different colours to make them look more distinctive and memorable.”

The dad-of-two said: “I also like to take the residents out in one of the minibuses we have at College Fields.

“I don’t want the residents to be stuck in all the time looking at four walls.

“I take them out to try and give them a bit of normality.

“I also like to have a bit of fun with them because I love to cheer people up.

“If we’re not going out I do other things for them like hanging up pictures in their rooms or setting up their smart TVs. It can all be quite rewarding.”

Home manager, Helen Randall said: “He does not just ‘do maintenance’.

“He builds up professional, individualised relationships with residents and their loved ones, never seeing the diagnosis but always seeing the person.”