Do you know an inspiring, unpaid carer? The British Caregiver Award seeks to shine a light on their hard work.
Thousands of people across the length and breadth of the UK look after a loved one, friend or acquaintance who unexpectedly requires additional long-term care as a result of a personal injury, accident or acquired disability.
This may be dropping in every day to make a cup of tea, taking them to buy their groceries, or helping out around the house – or it may mean having to quit their job to take care of this individual 24/7.
These people do so without complaining or expecting anything in return, but 42% of these carers never have a break or holiday from their caring role, as independent research carried out for National Accident Helpline has shown.
The British Caregiver Award shines a light on these inspiring people, raising awareness of their commitment, invaluable support and, crucially, the effect that this caring has on their lives.
The Award will enable one carer and the individual they look after to take a holiday courtesy of National Accident Helpline and Revitalise, a national charity which specialises in providing respite holidays for disabled people and their carers at its three dedicated centres around the UK.
In addition to the British Caregiver Award, a number of special recognition awards will be made. The person who nominates the winning carer will receive a £250 Superbreak voucher as a thank you for highlighting their dedication.
The Award, launched by National Accident Helpline, is open to any adult in the UK who provides unpaid care (other than receiving the Carer's Allowance) for another adult who has experienced a personal injury or acquired a disability that has led to them requiring care (for example as the result of a road accident, a slip, trip or fall, a spinal injury, medical negligence, a medical accident, a work accident or an industrial disease).
If you have any questions about the award, please email us at: email@example.com.
British Caregiver 2016
The awards for 2016 have now been announced.
All those awarded special recognition awards receive a trophy and a cheque for £100
Carol Beardsworth, 54, from Blackburn
Carol Beardsworth cares for her brother Stephen, who has learning disabilities and other health needs, and until he died in March at the age of 82, was full-time carer to her father Joseph, who suffered with dementia. The three lived together and Carol has been responsible for all personal care as well as managing hospital appointments and the regular crises associated with dementia. In addition to her caring role at home, Carol also works for the Carers’ Service in Blackburn, where she is described as ‘the engine’ of the service: dedicated, enthusiastic and amazing with other carers.
Anne Couzens, 37, from North London
Anne Couzens has been primary carer to her father Barry since 2003, when he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma bone cancer, in addition to pre-existing health conditions including polio. In 2004 Anne gave up the teacher training course she had been pursuing to support her father full time, driving him to hospital appointments and overseeing his medication and personal needs. Over the next five years Anne also cared for her much-loved grandfather, who passed away in 2008 at the age of 100. Anne has recently taken a part-time job, working nights so as not to interrupt her father’s care. She is still on call 24 hours a day to support her father.
Ann Haizelden, 76, from Tunbridge Wells
Ann Haizelden cares for David, her husband of 57 years, who has severe degeneration of many of his joints and has faced several operations in recent years. David also suffers with hearing problems, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (despite never having smoked), diabetes and peripheral neuropathy. Ann helps David with day-to-day care as needed, despite having herself faced myeloma (blood cancer) and the ensuing chemotherapy two years ago. She also manages to maintain other voluntary commitments and they both love being part of their local church. Ann’s favourite activity has been running groups for children, which she did for about 60 years and wishes that she still could! She still helps to run a lunch for the elderly and sometimes does a talk for them, arranges flowers and does sugar craft icing.
Kayleigh Jones, 18, from South Ayrshire
Kayleigh Jones cares for her father, who has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and mental health issues, and had a stroke when Kayleigh was 12. Kayleigh’s brother also has health issues with which he needs support. Kayleigh is still in full-time education and juggles her studying commitments with her caring role, providing practical and emotional support to her whole family.
Yasmin Khalil, 39, from Blackburn
Yasmin Khalil cares for her four siblings, who all have varying degrees of learning difficulties. Despite having a family of her own, she spends the majority of time in the family home, supporting her mother by managing her family’s care packages and support and advocating on their behalf. Yasmin also works part time as a carers’ advisor, supporting unpaid carers, and has set up a learning disability forum for her local area.
Tracy Limer, from Derbyshire
Tracy cares for her husband Peter following a road traffic accident in June 2015 which resulted in Peter and their son Jamie being air lifted to separate hospitals. Both were hospitalised with traumatic injuries; Peter’s were so serious that he was in hospital followed by a rehabilitation unit until September 2015. Tracy has supported Peter and Jamie tirelessly throughout their recovery in separate hospitals and continues to help Peter with his ongoing personal care needs now that he is home, as well as organising appointments and treatment.
Megan Roberts, aged 16, from Kettering
Sixth-former Megan Roberts cares for her mother Jacqueline, who suffers with young onset Parkinson’s disease and struggles with mobility. Megan took on the role of caregiver to Jacqueline and ‘second mum’ to her brothers after her father died eight years ago. Megan helps Jacqueline get up and take her medication, then gets her brothers up for school. After school she cleans and cooks, sacrificing her social life to support her family.
Kim Ross, 56, from Great Yarmouth
Kim Ross was full-time carer to her son Ryan following his diagnosis with Motor Neurone Disease in 2013, until his death in February 2016. Kim gave up work to become Ryan’s carer, giving up her home and moving to a council property that could accommodate Ryan and all the equipment he needed. Kim cared for Ryan 24 hours a day in his final months. She is keen to raise awareness of the emotional and financial support needed for MND sufferers and their families.
Judith Sheppard, 54, from West London
Judith juggles young and elderly care needs, as she cares both for her son Stuart, who has the genetic condition FOXG1 (a seizure disorder which affects speech & language, co-ordination and learning), and her elderly mother-in-law, who has complex care needs. Judith is the Chair of Trustees for a charity to raise awareness of FOXG1 Syndrome (www.foxg1.uk), a newly recognised condition, and is co-founder of the Our Barn youth club for young people with learning difficulties.
Linda Tuthill, 80, from Colchester
Linda Tuthill cares for Eric, her husband of almost 60 years. Eric has bladder cancer, mobility issues and cellulitis, is on oxygen for sleep apnea and further heart problems and currently undergoing tests for diabetes. Linda provides all of Eric's personal care, including dressing him, organising oxygen cylinders, pushing him in his wheelchair and taking him to regular hospital appointments and more, despite facing challenges to her own health, including arthritis, heart and other issues.
Kevin Wright, 34, from Manchester
Kevin lives with and cares for his friend Karen, 54, who suffers with a number of health issues including severe diabetes, damaged spinal discs, sciatica and psoriatic arthritis. He deals with all aspects of her physical and mental wellbeing, including accompanying her to regular medical appointments, despite facing health problems of his own.
The winning carer receives a seven-night, full-board holiday for themselves and the person they care for at one of Revitalise’s three dedicated respite holiday centres in the UK, including travel to and from the centre and spending money of £500. The Award winner will have the choice of Revitalise’s three holiday centres in the UK.
The holidays offer a diverse range of activities for both the carer and the person they care for, depending on their personal interests, whether it is enjoying a comedy or cabaret night, karaoke, a shopping splurge, zumba classes or just socialising over a drink at the licensed bar. All centres are fully accessible and offer 24-hour nurse-led care on call and personal support, with care packages tailored to individual needs.