Regional Winners of Great British Care Awards 2012 Announced
The regional winners of the Unpaid Carer Award have recently been announced at Great British Care Awards ceremonies across England. The Unpaid Carer Award is supported by Carers UK and 2012 winners include Carers UK members and volunteer Carer Ambassadors.
The Great British Care Awards are a series of regional events throughout England and are a celebration of excellence across the care sector. The purpose of the awards is to pay tribute to those individuals who have demonstrated outstanding excellence within their field of work. There are nineteen awards categories available for nomination, which represent all areas of the social care sector.
The national finals for the awards will be held at a prestigious central London venue in 2013.
The Unpaid Carers Award recognises and celebrates the contributions that carers have made to supporting carers, raising awareness and improving services in their local communities. The 2012 regional winners are:
Great Yorkshire & Humberside - Gillian Archbold
Gillian has considerable experience of caring for various members of her family, including her daughter who was born with cerebral palsy. Gillian has drawn on her knowledge to help other parents of disabled children in Yorkshire and Humberside access their rights and services, as well as improve understanding of disability in schools and other settings, driven by a desire to see a more inclusive society.
London - Mary Watts
Mary has campaigned for carers' rights in Newham over many years, drawing on her extensive personal caring experience. She’s always ‘there’ for any carer who is seeking information and support on anything from housing to benefits and practical support, Mary stands out as a great champion for carers.
West Midlands - Ray Eades
Not only have Ray and his wife Margaret cared for their son, but he has quietly campaigned and stood up on behalf of families of people with learning disabilities in a positive and untiring way for over 20 years. For the past four years Ray has been Chair of the Learning Disability Carers Reference Group and through his quiet participation has been able to get Councillors and MPs to listen. He demonstrates how carers can make a huge difference, not only to the lives of the people they care for, but to others as well.
East of England - Richard Cross
Richard has been caring for his wife for 22 years and so has extensive experience as a service user of GP practices and carer services in his local area. In his Carers UK Carer Ambassador role, Richard has been collaborating with Crossroads Care Cambridgeshire to support their GP Carers Prescription Service which aims to identify hidden carers and provide short breaks to carers when they need them. He has also been using his experience of chairing the Cambridgeshire Carers Partnership Board to advise Essex County Council on how they can set up a similar forum.
East Midlands - Bridget Leech
Bridget has made an enormous contribution to improving carers’ lives in Derbyshire, firstly as chair and more recently as a volunteer with her local carers’ organisation. Bridget cared for her husband for over eight years, and as a retired GP she has successfully used this insight in her Carers UK Carer Ambassador role of engaging with GP practices to try to improve local carer identification and support. This is of vital importance given that GPs are often the first port of call for carers.
South East - Sue Garner
Sue has gone the extra mile in helping carers looking after someone with a mental illness. Drawing on her own experience, she has shown strong compassion, worked tirelessly to improve services, organised activities and outings for carers and served as a trustee for a local housing association.
North West - Doreen Roberts
Drawing on her personal experience Doreen has worked for over 10 years to help improve support for carers of people with mental illness. As well as training carers on how to cope better with their caring role, she has also helped give carers a local voice and change the understanding of health and social care professionals about supporting carers.
South West - Brenda Prentice
When things don’t go well with your care or the care of a loved one, it’s important to know about your legal rights, but finding expert help can be difficult. Brenda has worked with great energy to set up a charity in Somerset to help families understand about the law and help them seek legal remedy.
South West - Daphne Sanderson (Runner Up)
Daphne has been caring for her husband for over 35 years and for the past year has been collaborating with another Carer Ambassador, Lucia Dedear. to raise awareness of the needs of carers in Gloucestershire. Their most significant achievement to date has been to bring together representatives from the county council, primary care trust, carers centre and local voluntary organisations, plus a GP, to discuss priorities for carers in the county. This has resulted in a Carers Reference Group being set up and a protected learning session on carers being planned for all GPs.
North East – no award made
All three Carer Ambassadors are involved in the Supporting Carers in General Practice Programme which is funded by the Department of Health and also involves Carers Trust and the Royal College of GPs.