National Accident Helpline is delighted to announce the results of the 2016 British Caregiver Award for unpaid carers, run in partnership with national disability charity Revitalise.
The British Caregiver Award was set up to shine a light on the amazing dedication shown by the UK's 6.5 million unpaid carers and, in particular, those who care for a family member or friend who needs unexpected long-term support with their day-to-day life due to an accident or acquired disability.
Independent research commissioned by National Accident Helpline highlighted the serious lack of respite these unpaid carers receive from their caring role, with 1 in 3 never having a break and 73% having one week or less of respite each year. The award aims to highlight this serious issue as well as providing some much-needed respite for the chosen caregiver.
After much deliberation, the judges' choice as overall British Caregiver of the Year is 61-year-old Barbara Prince, who is full-time caregiver to her daughter Victoria, aged 27. Victoria suffers with a neurological condition which affects her muscles, meaning that she can't walk at all, or stand or sit without support.
Barbara helps Victoria with every aspect of her day-to-day needs, and hasn't had a break for over 15 years. The only time Victoria and Barbara have spent apart since Victoria became ill was last year, when Barbara was hospitalised following a fall in which she broke her pelvis and elbow.
Speaking about Barbara, Victoria said:
My mum is absolutely incredible. She's given up so much for me I can't put it into words. She's entirely too self-sacrificing. No matter how hard I try, I can't get her to make time for herself.
The judges also chose to create two new award categories - the Accidental Carer Award and the Young Carer award - as well as rewarding a number of entrants with Special Recognition Awards.
Revitalise is proud to be working in partnership with National Accident Helpline to provide a respite holiday for British Caregiver Award winner Barbara and her daughter Victoria.
The Accidental Carer award goes to Annie Bamforth, who has cared for her husband Jon, who became paraplegic when he suffered a serious spinal injury in November 1991.
The Young Carer Award goes to Sean Hurditt, who cares for his mum Sue Bryant, who has a number of health conditions which compromise her independence and is in remission from breast cancer.
The following carers have all been recognised with a Special Recognition Award, as an acknowledgement of their remarkable love and commitment to those they care for:
- Carol Beardsworth
- Anne Couzens
- Ann Haizelden
- Kayleigh Jones
- Yasmin Khalil
- Tracy Limer
- Megan Roberts
- Kim Ross
- Judith Sheppard
- Linda Tuthill
- Kevin Wright
National Accident Helpline Managing Director and chair of the judging panel Simon Trott said:
We knew from our research, and through our work helping people who have suffered a personal injury, that unpaid carers face enormous challenges, many of them carrying out their caring role seven days a week without a break for months and even years.
We have been profoundly moved by the nominations we have received and we want to highlight the incredible contribution every one of these carers makes to the lives of their loved ones.
National charity Revitalise provides respite holidays for disabled people and carers at three accessible centres in Chigwell in Essex, Southampton and Southport. Each centre offers 24-hour nurse-led care on call, personal support and a range of accessible excursions, activities and entertainment. For more information about Revitalise, please visit: www.revitalise.org.uk
The winners of the Accidental Carer Award and The Young Carer Award have also been offered respite holidays with Revitalise as part of their prize.
Chris Simmonds, Revitalise Chief Executive and British Caregiver Award Judge added:
We are proud to be partners with the National Accident Helpline on the ‘Accidental Carers' campaign and the British Caregiver Award. Our own experience has taught us just how important it is to support unpaid carers, which is why both carers and those they care for are at the heart of all our work.
We are delighted to be able to provide a respite holiday for the three chosen winners - being a part of the judging process and reading everyone's nominations made decision making incredibly difficult. Everyone who was put forward for the award is so richly deserving in their own way.