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Carers Wales 2020 Photography Winners

Carers Wales 2020 photography competition: the results are in!

We were thrilled to have received so many entries.

Below you can find the winner, runners up and highly commended photographs from the competition. The winner will receive £100, 2nd £50, 3rd £25 and all highly commended will recieve a £10 giftcard. All winners will be contacted over the next 28 days.  

All the words under the photographs are provided by the carers themselves.

We would like to thank Patrick Olner from Tall and Short Photography for lending the Carers Wales team his expertise on judging the competition.

Winner

K Arthur - Just another Day

Just. another day K Arthur

About the photograph

This photograph is a snapshot of one of the many routines that are hidden within our life, its pretty self explanatory and its numerous everyday challenges. It captures what is our norm and our adaptation to one of the many not normal routines we have.

About the carer

My name is Karen I am now 56 years old and have been Den's partner for 33 years. I work full-time within Adult Social Care as well as caring for Den, We have a care package which in the main supports Den whilst I am at work and also provides very welcome respite care which allows me to have breaks from caring. Our children are a part of our caring routines and without them life would be very different. The reality is their support allows Den to continue living at home. Den has secondary progressive MS. This means he has no mobility, no use of his right arm and only limited use in his left. Den is dependent on others for all his care needs and many routines are nursing in nature. We have a tremendous family around us and have grandchildren who brighten our days.

The highs and lows of caring and complete loss of autonomy have become our norm, we can cannot change it, there is no cure for MS. Den is very clear he wants to remain at home and he needs our support to achieve this as a family. No matter what he will stay at home. We understand the rudiments of the Mental Capacity Act which are to stay as close to his known wishes and feelings despite what the future throws at us.


Second

L Jaggers - Still Life

Still Life L Jaggers

About the photograph

This the life behind the smile of an older carer, no longer do we share a bed, no longer can he control himself, bedroom chairs are now commodes but it's still life.

About the carer

I care for my husband Charles, and sit on many boards promoting the rights of carers.


Third

L Hooton - What do you see?

What do you see L Hooten

About the photograph

The photo captures my Mum's bedroom. What I see are the comforting aspects like the window casting light on the intricate quilt. Mum has a concoction of cushions to support her body. The family photos and old prints make the room homely. I see the beautiful woven sign with my Mum's name, 'Jean' and books that my Mum still manages to read. Beyond that I start to see that the room is cluttered but clean I hasten to add! I know that this room makes my Mum's 17 hours in bed tolerable and that alone makes me happy. An 'outsider' would probably see all of these things but without context so much could be missed.

What I perceive and many do not, is that the bed is hospital issue. I see the sliding sheets and the gantry hoist which we haven't started using because the Occupational Therapist couldn't test appropriate slings before the Covid-19 crisis hit. Occupational Therapy just phoned to say that their Palliative Department is being closed. This reminds me that transferring Mum out of the bed, on to a 'Stedy' is a back-breaking task. Mum is immobile and dependent on her body being moved for her, from one place to another. I have a small frame so I struggle.  I see the catheter day and night bags and remember what a completely dark art this was when Mum first came home from hospital. No one told you anything and it took a few 'accidents' to work it out. I still prevent district nurse visits now by sorting out blockages and airlocks. 

Worst of all, I see my nemisis the 'Commode' and it's no joke. Wrapped up in that chair is everything that controls my life. My lovely Mum like so many others is dependent on me to help her with toileting. She is transferred via the 'Stedy' which is also tough going. I give her dignity and care, while attending to her personal needs. I know that this dependency is difficult for her and it is challenging for me. Her wireless doorbell can ring at anytime for this one personal task. I cannot leave the house because, she may need the toilet. It represents the fact that incontinence or just dependence is the loneliest thing ever. No one talks you through the emotional toll that it takes when you are first confronted with another adult's bodily needs. I have made myself an expert on making this job the most efficient I can but also taking such gentle care of my Mum. She can be upright for a limited time before becoming anywhere from light headed to unconscious. Believe me, I have seen other 'professional' carers fail at this task. So yes, I use wet wipes and dry wipes, gloves and plastic bottles of lotions and potions at both our financial and environmental cost. I worry now that these consumables will run out as demand outstrips supply. 

This is our reality and I see it all, do you? 

About the carer

My name is Lisa and I am an unpaid carer for my 90 year old Mum, Jean. I have been caring for her in varying degrees for 9 years. It has been an all consuming task since she was diagnosed 4 years ago with high grade Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and was given 6 months to live. I am 49 years old and the physical and mental toll of caring is becoming harder to endure. I have been married for 11 years and 10 years ago we moved from Hampshire to Anglesey! My Mum joined us shortly after. My husband renovated an old building to make a purpose built annexe for Mum. 


Highly Commended

J Prosser - Finding Calm

Finding Calm J Prosser

About the photograph

The photo was taken by my husband. Every evening I take my dogs to the field just up the road. My husband and daughter sit in the car and have a home made hot chocolate while I walk the dogs around the field. It just allows me to relax and free my mind for a while.

I think the photo reflects the need for distance and reflection. Indeed the field has been a beautiful sanctuary for my body,mind and spirit. I feel deeply connected to this Special place. 

About the carer

 My name is Jocelyn Prosser and I am a carer for husband and daughter. My husband had an industrial accident thirty two years ago.It resulted in the loss of his left arm and leg.My daughter has a very rare genetic condition called Trichothiodystrophy. She has complex needs, I have been a carer for over 35 years and was also a carer for my mother who had schizophrenia. She passed away when I was eleven.


L Jones - Being an unpaid carer is Love

Unpaid Carer is Love L Jones

About the photograph

Being an unpaid Carer can be overwhelming for so many reasons, if you care for someone with a ‘hidden disability’ you will never know or see and therefore never ask .

But despite all the struggles my overwhelming reason for being an ‘unpaid Carer’ is  Love 💕.


 K Arthur - New Beginnings

New Beginning K Arthur

About the photograph

This photograph holds a special story for us, Den was very poorly during 2018 and there is no doubt he nearly didn’t make it. Our son and his wife were expecting their first baby and I am sure this is what motivated Den to fight on. Alfie Dennis was born March 2019 and is absolutely adored by us all but especially Den.

This photograph shows the birth and beginnings of a new relationship educating disability as a norm and not something to be sorry for or pity.

There is a sadness here too. Den is now of retirement age and we know he would spent a few days a week in Kent looking after Alfie if he could have. Alfie will miss out on this man's patience, creativity and undivided attention as he grows up. The emotional pain of what is lost to MS is unmeasurable and forms part of our hidden life.


J Page - It was great fun, Mum!

That was fun Mum J Page

About the photograph

Here he is on a typical day, doing his favourite pastime.

It took around 2 hours to clean him, his standing frame and the floor, but he had such fun.

He is being shielded so can't go to school, even though he is entitled to as Dad is a key worker.


L Rogers - I've got your back

Ive got your back L Rogers

About the photograph

The photo shows my daughter Nia and her autistic brother Flinn 

I love this photo of my disabled son and his big sister who along with me is an unpaid carer for Flinn.

It represents for me the special bond and  relationship between them but also him being on her back represents the responsibilities and burdens a carer and unpaid carer can face. 


How were the photographs judged?

The photographs were judged by Patrick Olner from Tall and Short Photography who has 20 years experience in photography, Claire Morgan, Carers Wales Director and Edward Grace, Campaigns and Communications officer.

For any queries, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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