Last week saw the inaugral National Carers Awards, and we're delighted to say that two Welsh carers – Bill Smith from Pembroke and Jocelyn Prosser from Neath – were among the five winners.
The awards, delivered by LloydsPharmacy and supported by Carers UK, were designed to recognise the hugely important role carers play in society and represent the thousands of unpaid carers around the UK.
In April people across the UK were asked to nominate a carer who they felt deserved the award after going above and beyond in their role as carer. Five people from across the UK were selected as winners following nominations from family members and close friends. The winners were officially recognised at a gala dinner and presented with a trophy on 10 June 2014.
National Carers Awards BillBill Smith, aged 55, from Pembroke was nominated by a close friend.
Bill has devoted his life to caring for his two adult children, a son who has cerebral palsy and spina bifida, and a daughter with complex behavioural problems and learning difficulties. Bill gave up his full time job as an electrician to provide the 24 hour care they need, and nine years ago Bill's wife was also diagnosed with a rare form of dementia, Pick's disease, that has led to her needing the same level of care.
Although Bill receives help from paid carers during the day, he cares for his family alone at night, despite having health problems himself. Bill has kidney disease, eye thyroid disease and several other health problems. Last October he was diagnosed with lymphoma but managed to beat the cancer and was given the all clear in March. Despite all of these challenges, Bill continues to provide compassionate and loving care in order keep his family together under one roof.
National Carers Awards JocelynJocelyn Prosser, aged 50, from Wales was nominated by her husband.
Jocelyn cares for her husband and the couple's daughter. Her husband Darran had an accident 27 years ago where he lost an arm and a leg and ever since then Jocelyn has been his sole carer. Their daughter has a very rare genetic condition called trichothiodystrophy which has resulted in multiple operations and her needing extensive care. Jocelyn has been caring for their daughter for nearly 30 years.
Jocelyn herself has epilepsy and has had spinal surgery but continues to keep going and has spent her life alongside caring; being a nurse, councillor, wife and Mother.
To read about all five winners visit the National Carers Awards page on the LloydsPharmacy website.