Care Awards Highlight The Selfless Efforts Of Carers

An award ceremony held to recognise the kind and selfless work carers offer to their loved ones was held in Exeter yesterday.

The Devon Carers Award Scheme event was attended by 39 carers, friends and family members who nominated them, the panel of judges, and other representatives from local businesses and social services.

Scott Tinworth, the winner of the child category of the awards, was unable to attend due to illness.

The winner of the adult award, Sarah Musgrove, attended the ceremony with her mum Anne, who nominated Sarah, and dad Phillip.

She said: “I cared for my friend Peter North, who suffered from Morquio’s Osseous Dystrophy, for 23 years, since I was 16. These awards give us some much needed publicity.”

Peter died just two days before Sarah found out about the award.

She said: “He would have been very proud of me.”

Sarah’s mum Anne said: “We are very proud of Sarah. She thoroughly deserves this award.

“She gave up a career and always wanted to be a doctor.”

Dad Phillip said: “I think it is the care Sarah gave that prolonged Peter’s life.”

He added: “Sarah has only had one holiday in 23 years.”

Stacey Bryant, a partner at Crosse and Crosse which set up the awards, was one of the judges.

She said: “We were very proud to be able to launch these awards which we hope will be an annual award and to try and bring some important attention to these issues due to the lack of attention and support for carers.”

She added: “The awards brought home to us that there is a large community of people out there who are unsung heroes and if we didn’t have them it would be a poorer place.”

The judges all agreed it was difficult deciding who should be the winner with so many heart-rending stories and each carer standing out in their own way.

Heidi Miller nominated her mum Jenny Miller, who came joint second, for a carer award as she adopted four disabled children, despite already having her own children.

Heidi said: “Mum is special. That is why I nominated her. She chose to adopt four disabled children.”

Carer Jenny said: “I don’t think it’s difficult. I just think I am doing something I really enjoy doing. They are just different to other children.

“There needs to be publicity for carers. I think some carers are under-valued but these awards do highlight the needs of carers and help with people’s self-esteem.”

The awards were sponsored by QuickPrint, Foresight Financial Planning, South West Water and Pennon Group Plc, Crealy Adventure Park, Devon & Cornwall Constabulary, Dr Adrian Rogers, Homelife Carers and the Express & Echo.