Thousands of people across the length and breadth of the UK look after a loved one, friend, or acquaintance who unexpectedly requires long-term care as a result of a personal injury or accident*. Independent research carried out for National Accident Helpline, which speaks to injured people and those who care for them on a daily basis, has shown that 45% of these ‘Accidental Carers' never get a break from their caring role and over a fifth (23%) say it has been more than five years since they last had beneficial respite.
The British Caregiver Award, launching today, 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 week's 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 prizes will be awarded.
The Award is open to any adult in the UK who provides unpaid care for another adult who has experienced a personal injury that has led to them requiring care. It will be judged by a panel including National Accident Helpline CEO Russell Atkinson and Revitalise CEO Chris Simmonds. The selected carer and recipients of special recognition prizes will be announced in early 2016.
Nominations are open now at the British Caregiver Award web page.
Russell Atkinson, CEO of National Accident Helpline, said:
At National Accident Helpline we hear at first hand every day about the severe impact unforeseen accidents or injuries can have, not just on the injured person but also on their close family, who can find themselves thrust into the position of full-time carer.
Many of these ‘Accidental Carers' have their own lives and routines transformed by the need to provide care for their loved one, often 24 hours a day, seven days a week, over the course of months and years.
Through the British Caregiver Award, we want to highlight the invaluable contribution made by these unpaid carers throughout the UK and to stress how important it is that they get regular respite from their caring role.
We're delighted to be working with Revitalise, a great charity which does so much to enrich the lives of the thousands of people who spend time at its centres each year.
Chris Simmonds, CEO of Revitalise, said:
We are proud to partner with National Accident Helpline on the British Caregiver Award. It's about time that unpaid carers got the national recognition they so richly deserve.
Every ounce of support we give to carers now will prevent a terrible cost to society if we take carers' devotion to their loved ones for granted and allow their relationships to collapse under the strain.
That's why we will never stop repeating that access to regular, good quality respite breaks for disabled people and those who care for them should be considered a right, not a luxury.
I feel privileged to take my place on the judging panel and am delighted to provide a holiday with Revitalise as the prize.
Notes to editors
*Unpaid carers are defined as anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend, family member, husband or wife who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support.
*Accidental Carers are defined as anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend, family member, husband or wife who due to an accident or injury cannot cope without their support.
The Accidental Carers survey was commissioned by National Accident Helpline and carried out by Research Now, with a sample size of 1,000 unpaid carers across the UK. More research findings can be found here.
• 45% of Accidental Carers (42% of unpaid carers) never have a holiday away from their caring duties
• 80% of Accidental Carers (73% of unpaid carers) have one week's holiday or less a year (compared with the 25 days a year - plus weekends - that the average Brit takes)
• 23% of Accidental Carers (21% of unpaid carers) have not had beneficial respite in the last five years
• 27% of Accidental Carers (25% of unpaid carers) say they are stressed or anxious about their own health
About National Accident Helpline and The British Caregiver Awards:
National Accident Helpline (NAH) is the UK's leading provider of personal injury advice, services and support, and represents 50 legal practices across the UK. If a consumer has suffered an accident or injury which was someone else's fault we can help them understand if they have a legitimate claim, and we will connect them with one of our specialist PI panel solicitor firms so they can seek appropriate redress.
Through our approved network of specialist personal injury solicitor firms, we champion consumer rights for people who have suffered a personal injury, helping those with genuine claims to secure access to justice to help aid their recovery.
NAH is an ethical and professional organisation. We have industry-leading standards and we never cold call or send spam texts or spam emails to attract new clients.
NAH is part of NAHL Group plc and is a registered company, incorporated in the UK and regulated by the Claims Management Regulator in respect of claims management activities.
The British Caregiver Awards
• The British Caregiver Award is open to any UK resident aged 18 or over who is an unpaid carer for another individual aged 18 or over who needs additional help as a result of a personal injury.
• The person can be caring for any individual, whether they are a friend, relative, colleague, neighbour or other acquaintance.
• Entrants can enter directly, or be nominated by the person they care for or another individual.
• The awards are free to enter.
• The judging panel will comprise executives at National Accident Helpline and senior figures from care-related charities including Revitalise
• Entries close on 18 January 2016 and the selected carer will be announced in March 2016
Revitalise is a national charity providing respite holidays for disabled people and carers at three accessible centres in Chigwell in Essex, Southampton and Southport, with 24-hour nurse-led care on call, personal support and a range of accessible excursions, activities and entertainment.
For Revitalise, please contact Colin Brook, Communications Manager, on 0207 288 6878 (direct dial)/ 0303 303 0145 (general enquiries) / firstname.lastname@example.org