Left to right: Marje Godfrey from Chew Medical Practice, Julie Dyer, Headteacher from Three Ways School, Simon Fossey, Siana Paginton, Mitch Gregory, Sarah Long, Colin Sims, Jane Fell from City of Bath College, Dan Nightingale, Rena Cottis from the Alzheimer’s Society, Kasia Paginton, Susanna Watson from Sirona Care and Health, Donna Amoah, Sonia Hutchison from the Carers’ Centre, Alfie Browne, Theresa Hegarty from the Royal United Hospital, James Moore, Dan Parfitt, Enid Green, Barry Hulme, Gay Harris from Combe Down Holiday Trust and Liz Wintle.
A night of recognition and celebration has been hosted by the Carers’ Centre Bath and North East Somerset at their first annual awards ceremony. Twenty-two awards were presented to people from across the area, each nominated by a member of the charity’s team.
“We wanted to bring together carers, volunteers and partners who have “gone the extra mile” to to help others, pushed personal boundaries, learned new life-changing skills or made a contribution that really supports local carers and the work of the Centre,” explained Sonia Hutchison, Chief Executive.
Carers’ Centre Ambassador and Paralympic silver medallist, Stephanie Millward-McHugh, helped present certificates and prizes, alongside a host of representatives from the Centre’s funders and supporters. Over 80 award winners and guests attended the evening, which was held at The Egg Theatre in Bath.
Amongst the Young Carer of the Year award winners was 6-year-old Alfie Browne from Chew Stoke, who helps to care for his baby sister, Edie. Alfie is a very gentle and caring boy who worries a great deal about his little sister’s wellbeing. Couple this with the emotional support he offers to his family, he has proved himself to be an exceptional young man.
Another Young Carer of the Year award winner was 14-year-old Sarah Long, from Saltford, who cares for her sister Georgia. Sarah is a dedicated member of Bath Air Cadets and a talented and committed athlete, involving a lot of training and competing. The time and commitment she shows to each of her pursuits is exceptional and she truly deserved recognition for this.
In the adult carer category, the Carer Making a Difference award was presented to Donna Amoah, from Bath. Donna has given her time freely to completely revamp the way students at the University of Bath can learn directly from carers. She has shared her story to highlight the difficulties of caring for her husband, David, and helped the students understand that carers are all different.
The Carer into Employment Award Winner was Dan Parfitt from Paulton. Dan gave up his job as a lifeguard so that his grandparents and uncle were not spilt up and placed into care homes. After his uncle passed away, Dan came to the Carers' Centre seeking help to work and went on to successfully secure employment at Morrison’s in Wells.
Theresa Hegarty, Head of Patient Experience at the RUH, received a Partner of the Year Award for her significant contribution in making the hospital far more carer-focussed and carer-friendly. Driven by personal experience of looking after her brother, Geoff, who passed away 2 years ago, Theresa ensures carers are given high priority when raising standards and improving patient care.
Chew Medical Practice also received a Partner of the Year Award for their work to recognise carers and provide the help and support they need to continue their caring role. The Carers’ Centre regularly attends flu clinics to help identify more carers and has been offered space at the surgery to run carers’ support groups and drop-ins.
“We had a fantastic night of celebration with our awards winners and their guests,” added Sonia. “The team at the Carers’ Centre nominated over 70 individuals and organisations for awards, and our judges had a very difficult task in choosing these final 22 winners. I’d like to thank everyone who helped make this event such a success, and we are already planning and looking forward to next year’s Celebrating Carers ceremony.”
Other award winners included 8-year-old James Moore from Bath, 13-year old Dan Nightingale from Bath, 13-year-old Kasia and 14-year-old Siana Paginton from Bath. The Secondary School of the Year Award went to Head Teacher Julie Dyer from Three Ways School in Bath. The Health and Social Care Partner Special Commendation was awarded to Susanna Watson from the Adult Social Care Team at Sirona Care and Health. The Carers Making a Difference Special Commendation was awarded to Dave Wintle from Keynsham and collected by his wife, Liz. Volunteer of the Year Awards went to Enid Green from Temple Cloud and Barry Hulme from Radstock. Carer Making a Contribution Awards were presented to Simon Fossey from Farrington Gurney and Colin Sims from Paulton. The Carer into Employment Special Commendation Award was won by Mitch Gregory from Midsomer Norton. Special Commendations and Certificates of Recognition in the Partner of the Year category were presented to Jude King from Bath Mind, Jane Fell from Community Learning at City of Bath College and Rena Cottis from the Alzheimer’s Society. The Community Partner of the Year Award was presented to Richard Osborn from Combe Down Holiday Trust and collected by Gay Harris from the Trust.
If you are a carer and would like to access support and information please contact the Carers’ Centre Freephone: 0800 0388 885