A young man with complex needs will have a birthday to remember this year, thanks to carer Henryk Walkowiak.

Matthew, who lives at Maestelio care home in South Wales, is unable to communicate verbally but has forged a deep bond with Henryk, who used to be his key worker.

Henryk’s own health issues have forced him to step down as Matthew’s key worker, but he remains an active participant in his care. So, when it came to shopping for Matthew’s upcoming birthday, it was Henryk who stepped up to get him gifts he’ll love.

After 14 years of service, this is just another example of how Henryk goes above and beyond for the people he supports said Service Manager Kuba Nowak.

Kuba said: “Henryk and Matthew are best buddies, they have such a strong relationship – it’s amazing to see.

“Matthew can’t speak, but he likes to have close contact with people and to have people talk to him, even though they know he won’t respond. Every day, Henryk spends time talking to Matthew, takes him for walks around the building and for coffee with the ladies in the cottages on-site.

“Henryk deeply considered the gifts that Matthew would like for his birthday, things that he can enjoy and will mean something to him. Getting a smile from Matthew and the other people he supports is that most important thing for Henryk to achieve every day.”

His outstanding contribution to Maestelio won Henryk a QCF Health and Social Care ‘Above and Beyond’ award nomination this year. He was nominated by the team for his outstanding commitment to person-centred care.

Kuba said: “Henryk is a quiet man and is never showy about the work he does. He never needs to be asked to complete something, he just knows what needs to be done.

“His interaction with Matthew is a great example of how he goes ‘above and beyond’ for the people we support. He started with us as a cook’s assistant and over the years progressed into being a carer – he’s done so well.

“He has a uniquely instinctive approach to care and gives whoever he is working with 100% of his attention and focus. His commitment has been commented on by other staff – he’s a shining example of how people with complex needs should be supported.”