Shining a light on city's hidden army of carers
TEARS were shed as carers received recognition for their devotion at an awards ceremony.
The Plymouth Carer of the Year Awards 2012 celebrated the tireless work of people who look after their family and friends.
Dozens of carers attended the lunchtime event at The Duke of Cornwall yesterday. In its eighth year, the ceremony was organised by Friends and Families of Special Children and the Plymouth branch of Carers UK. It was supported by The Herald.
This year's winners were men and women ranging in age from their early 20s to their late 70s.
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Carole Budge, Karla Bowden, Annalin Prouse and Terry Farley were named the city's Carers of the Year and presented with trophies and flowers.
A special accolade was awarded posthumously to carers' rights campaigner Chris Coombe, who sadly died earlier this year aged 59 after battling cancer.
Speaking at the ceremony, The Herald editor Ian Wood said: "The Herald is proud to support these awards and the achievements of carers. We want to thank and applaud you for what you do brilliantly.
"While the awards are being given to individuals, we recognise the efforts of everyone here and carers across the city."
Kay O'Shaughnessy, of Carers UK Plymouth, said: "As well as rewarding the efforts of individuals, this event highlights the work of Plymouth's hidden army of carers.
"There are thousands of people, young and old, who give their time to help those around them. Too often they are forgotten. We want to shine a light on them."
She thanked everyone involved including the Duke of Cornwall Hotel and Lynda Gumbrell of Plymouth Trophyman, who donated the trophies.
The awards were held during national Carers Week, June 18 to 24. The theme for this year's campaign is 'In Sickness and in Health'.
There are at least 24,000 unpaid carers in Plymouth – almost 10 per cent of the total population. Figures suggest there are likely to be about 850 children in the city who look after a relative.
Further events for Carers Week include a health information event today between 11am and 3pm at Plymouth Central Library.
An information day takes place tomorrow from 11am to 3pm at the Guildhall.
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