Business

Pendine Park hailed as inspiration by Stock Exchange

Mario Kreft MBE, Founder of Pendine Park

Pendine Park has been hailed by the London Stock Exchange as one of the most “inspirational” companies in the UK. 

Pendine Park, which has eight care homes in Wrexham and Caernarfon and employs 800 people, was identified as one of the most dynamic companies in Britain. 

Around 220 of the jobs have been created at the organisation’s bilingual dementia centre of excellence, Bryn Seiont Newydd, which opened in Caernarfon in 2015.

Pendine has been named by the Stock Exchange in a major report as one of the 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain. 

The organisation was founded in 1985 by Mario Kreft MBE, and his wife, Gill, who were looking for residential care for their own grandparents but were unable to find anywhere that met their own high standards. 

Recently Pendine revealed £15 million plans to build a dementia centre of excellence in Wrexham and redevelop another site in the town, creating 150 new jobs. 

Mr Kreft says they are responding to the huge need for more specialist care because of the soaring number of people aged 85 and over which is due to double over the next two decades. 

Pendine is now recognised as one of the leading lights in the social care sector and has won countless awards over the years. 

The company has pioneered the use of the arts to enrich the lives of their residents and staff alike. 

It was probably the first social care organisation in the UK to appoint an artist in residence nearly a quarter of a century ago and has long-running partnerships with the world-renowned Hallé orchestra and Welsh National Opera. 

Support for more than 30 arts and community groups across Wales is channelled through the Pendine Arts and Community Trust (PACT). 

Among the beneficiaries are the North Wales International Music Festival, Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod and the International Choral Festival in Cardiff. 

Mr Kreft, who was awarded the MBE in 2010 for his contribution to the sector, is also the chair of industry body Care Forum Wales and the Wales Care Awards, known as the social care Oscars, which he set up. 

Last year he was appointed by Economy and Transport Minister Ken Skates AM  to help steer the Welsh economy as a member of his influential Ministerial Advisory Board. 

According to Mr Kreft, it was an historic appointment because this was the first time that a representative of the social care sector had been placed “right at the heart of the economic decision making in Wales”. 

He’s particularly proud that social care has now been identified by the Welsh Government as one of four foundation pillars of the economy. 

Mr Kreft said: “I’m both delighted but also surprised to be included in this report from the London Stock Exchange because we were unaware it until my bank manager phoned me up to tell me the news.

“Everybody connected with the organisation is delighted, not just because of what it says about Pendine but also what it says about social care more widely. 

“We have always known how important social care is in terms of providing community-based services but we’ve often seen how other organisations appear to be more fashionable.”

 

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