Here are your Carer Friendly Awards Finalists

carer frienldy awards finalists

We are proud to announce the Carer Friendly Awards finalists!

Thank you to each and everyone of you who made a nomination. It was a tremendous insight into how all of the wonderful carers, volunteers and organisations are going above and beyond to support us, cared for and other carers. 

Our judges scoured through each and every nomination and although they couldn’t choose everyone to be shortlisted, all of the nominations are truly remarkable people and make such positive impacts in the lives of unpaid carers. 

Those that have been shortlisted, we thank and congratulate you in achieving all that you have and for supporting in all the ways you do. You will have the opportunity to be our guests at the Carer Friendly Awards and experience an evening of fine food, exciting entertainment and amazing awards. 

If anyone else would like to take part and to help us raise money so we can continue to support all the unpaid carers of Solihull, then you too can buy a ticket to the special night by clicking the button below. 

Once again, congratulations to all of our finalists! We can’t wait to see you all for the big night!

Adult Carer of the Year

Adult Carer of the Year

Emma Ruscoe

Emma is the main carer for her husband who has young on-set dementia. She exhudes positivity as she carefully balances the strains of providing high-quality care, while also maintaining her working role with Solihull Council Adult Care Social Services. Emma also cares for her two young adult sons, supporting them emotionally through this tumultuous time, encouraging them to pursue their own individuality and lead independent lives. 

The Alzheimers Society also benefits from Emma’s positivity, as she has appeared on radio and TV – locally and nationally (This Morning TV programme) – representing the work they do, while emanating her own positive attitude towards being a carer.

David Garthwaite

David is the carer for his father, a 103 year old (104 on 4th June) World War II veteran who was a Senior Services Pilot and instrumental in the lead up to the D-Day landings. David moved his father into his family home and now provides tireless dedication in his caring role. Finding new ways to enrich his father’s life, David has worked tirelessly to arrange interviews and TV appearences for his father to share his experiences of the war, even being invitied to the National Arboretum as a VIP guest. 

David not only cares for his father but is also an active participant in our meet-ups and trips. Selflessly helping out where he can to arrange and move furtniture, as well as welcoming new members to the group with his infectious and welcoming smile. David aims to one day be an official volunteer with Carers Trust Solihull, and with his vast experience of ourselves, along with the other charities he supports: AUKS/Blind Veterans, UJ, RAF, Help Harry Help Others, RNIB, RNID, Royal British Legion and others, David is invaluable to all those around him. 

Sarah Wakeman

Sarah has become the pillar of strength for her family. She is the primary caregiver for her eledelry mother, who sufers from dementia. Yet, through the emotional and physical toll of becoming a carer, Sarah has remained positive and steadfast, while still providing daily effective and loving care to her mother. Even when her mother required pallative care, Sarah demonstarted unwavering love and dedication to her family.

Sarah’s two sons, 16 and 19 years old, still receive the devoted love of their mother. The youngest of the sons has challenges with ADHD, and although Sarah faces daily complexities and challenges of her own while being a carer, she still raises her sons with patience and grace, to ensure they both grow to be strong and independent.  

In addition to all of this, Sarah is also the carer for her husband, who two years ago suffered a stroke. Sarah has remained by his side and supported him throughout his recovery journey; physically, emotionally and mentally.

Emma Ruscoe

Emma is the main carer for her husband who has young on-set dementia. She exhudes positivity as she carefully balances the strains of providing high-quality care, while also maintaining her working role with Solihull Council Adult Care Social Services. Emma also cares for her two young adult sons, supporting them emotionally through this tumultuous time, encouraging them to pursue their own individuality and lead independent lives. 

The Alzheimers Society also benefits from Emma’s positivity, as she has appeared on radio and TV – locally and nationally (This Morning TV programme) – representing the work they do, while emanating her own positive attitude towards being a carer.

David Garthwaite

David is the carer for his father, a 103 year old (104 on 4th June) World War II veteran who was a Senior Services Pilot and instrumental in the lead up to the D-Day landings. David moved his father into his family home and now provides tireless dedication in his caring role. Finding new ways to enrich his father’s life, David has worked tirelessly to arrange interviews and TV appearences for his father to share his experiences of the war, even being invitied to the National Arboretum as a VIP guest. 

David not only cares for his father but is also an active participant in our meet-ups and trips. Selflessly helping out where he can to arrange and move furtniture, as well as welcoming new members to the group with his infectious and welcoming smile. David aims to one day be an official volunteer with Carers Trust Solihull, and with his vast experience of ourselves, along with the other charities he supports: AUKS/Blind Veterans, UJ, RAF, Help Harry Help Others, RNIB, RNID, Royal British Legion and others, David is invaluable to all those around him. 

Sarah Wakeman

Sarah has become the pillar of strength for her family. She is the primary caregiver for her eledelry mother, who sufers from dementia. Yet, through the emotional and physical toll of becoming a carer, Sarah has remained positive and steadfast, while still providing daily effective and loving care to her mother. Even when her mother required pallative care, Sarah demonstarted unwavering love and dedication to her family.

Sarah’s two sons, 16 and 19 years old, still receive the devoted love of their mother. The youngest of the sons has challenges with ADHD, and although Sarah faces daily complexities and challenges of her own while being a carer, she still raises her sons with patience and grace, to ensure they both grow to be strong and independent.  

In addition to all of this, Sarah is also the carer for her husband, who two years ago suffered a stroke. Sarah has remained by his side and supported him throughout his recovery journey; physically, emotionally and mentally.

Young & Young Adult Carer of the Year

Young & Young Adult Carer of the Year

Caleb Tracey

Caleb is not only a young adult carer to his Sister, who suffers from autism, ADHD and depression, but is also student at Solihull College. The impact of his caring role and the pressures of a college education have been detrimental to his own mental health and education; leading to GCSE scores that Caleb was not happy with. However, since joining college in 2022, Caleb has grown as both a student and a carer, overcoming obstacles and challenges, encouraged by the safe and carer friendly environment within Solihull College, Caleb has now flourished. Using his experience of being an supported young adult carer in education, Caleb has played a significant role in supporting and shining light on others in similar situations. 

By becoming an ambassador for other young adult carers, he has grown awareness and helped raise more support and resources within his college’s community, to better enable other students in caring roles to receive the support they require. Caleb has represented Carers Trust Solihull and Carers Trust national, giving an impassioned speech and presentation to a delegation at the ASCL Conference for Pastoral Leaders, highlighting the vital role that educational settings can provide to help young and young adult carers to succeed in life. 

Through this dedication, Caleb has become the Student Voice President, championing all students with special requirements, to ensure they too have the chance to better achieve their educational and lifelong goals. 

Theo & Shaquille Scott

Theo and Shaquille are twin brothers and have been invaluable members of our Peer Mentoring Project, guiding and support other young and young adult carers, helping others with their experiences and guiding in the next generation of young and young adult carers. As 16 year olds, Theo and Shaquille have shown tremendous commitment to the peer mentoring project, doing so while also shouldering the responsibilities of their own caring roles, and have become inspirations to all; staff and mentees, within the Peer Mentoring Project. 

They have worked in groups and provided one-on-one support to their mentees, becoming outstanding role models at such a young age. Peer mentoring would be worse off without both Theo and Shaquille playing vital roles. They have attended every session, supervision and training day, making sure they don’t miss any new and returning mentees in need of their invaluable guidance and support.

Phoenix Lingard

Phoenix is a 19 year old who has already grown to become a vital and vocal member of our Peer Mentoring Project, as well as a befriender and member of the DMG (Decision Making Group). This means that Phoenix has a proactive role in directly supporting our work but also shaping it for the future, ensuring we are doing all we can to help as many young and young adult carers. 

So, not only is Phoenix molding the future of carer support, they too are also a carer. He cares for his mum who has physical disabilities, as well as his brother who has both autism and a brain tumour. 

Phoenix has devoted his time and young life to making sure not only are his family cared for but also how others are cared for too, by being a champion and archtiect of how care is provided and how carers are supported.  

Caleb Tracey

Caleb is not only a young adult carer to his Sister, who suffers from autism, ADHD and depression, but is also student at Solihull College. The impact of his caring role and the pressures of a college education have been detrimental to his own mental health and education; leading to GCSE scores that Caleb was not happy with. However, since joining college in 2022, Caleb has grown as both a student and a carer, overcoming obstacles and challenges, encouraged by the safe and carer friendly environment within Solihull College, Caleb has now flourished. Using his experience of being an supported young adult carer in education, Caleb has played a significant role in supporting and shining light on others in similar situations. 

By becoming an ambassador for other young adult carers, he has grown awareness and helped raise more support and resources within his college’s community, to better enable other students in caring roles to receive the support they require. Caleb has represented Carers Trust Solihull and Carers Trust national, giving an impassioned speech and presentation to a delegation at the ASCL Conference for Pastoral Leaders, highlighting the vital role that educational settings can provide to help young and young adult carers to succeed in life. 

Through this dedication, Caleb has become the Student Voice President, championing all students with special requirements, to ensure they too have the chance to better achieve their educational and lifelong goals. 

Theo & Shaquille Scott

Theo and Shaquille are twin brothers and have been invaluable members of our Peer Mentoring Project, guiding and support other young and young adult carers, helping others with their experiences and guiding in the next generation of young and young adult carers. As 16 year olds, Theo and Shaquille have shown tremendous commitment to the peer mentoring project, doing so while also shouldering the responsibilities of their own caring roles, and have become inspirations to all; staff and mentees, within the Peer Mentoring Project. 

They have worked in groups and provided one-on-one support to their mentees, becoming outstanding role models at such a young age. Peer mentoring would be worse off without both Theo and Shaquille playing vital roles. They have attended every session, supervision and training day, making sure they don’t miss any new and returning mentees in need of their invaluable guidance and support.

Phoenix Lingard

Phoenix is a 19 year old who has already grown to become a vital and vocal member of our Peer Mentoring Project, as well as a befriender and member of the DMG (Decision Making Group). This means that Phoenix has a proactive role in directly supporting our work but also shaping it for the future, ensuring we are doing all we can to help as many young and young adult carers. 

So, not only is Phoenix molding the future of carer support, they too are also a carer. He cares for his mum who has physical disabilities, as well as his brother who has both autism and a brain tumour. 

Phoenix has devoted his time and young life to making sure not only are his family cared for but also how others are cared for too, by being a champion and archtiect of how care is provided and how carers are supported.  

Volunteer of the Year

Volunteer of the Year

Nikki Burden

Nikki has devoted and dedicated her life to the betterment of SEND and individuals who require that support. A mother of four children and with additional needs herself, Nikki has used her experience and energy to go above and beyond for others who need help. She has ran and organised mutliple events for parents, to help them gain more knowledge about SEND, as well as respite and fun for SEND families; Christmas and Halloween parties amongst other things. To facilitate and organise all of this, Nikki maintains a Facebook support page that aims to support families but going above and beyond that, Nikki will also answer individual meesages from people who are struggling or need support. To better support herself, Nikki has recently enrolled in University, with the aim of achieving a degree in SEND so she can learn more and help as many people as she can. Nikki has made a difference in the lives of countless children and families with her tireless dedication. 

Meg Purvey

Meg, a dedicated volunteer at the Sitting Service for nearly two years, brings a wealth of experience and unwavering reliability to her role. The Sitting Service offers vital respite to elderly carers, some well into their nineties, caring for loved ones with conditions like dementiaParkinson’s disease, and Motor Neurone Disease. Many carers have minimal respite, leading to high levels of stress, isolation, and emotional strain. Meg steps in to provide relief by sitting with those under care, allowing carers a few hours to themselves for a walk, social outing, or moment of relaxation. 

Having recently retired, Meg’s 25 years of expertise in supporting individuals with mental health disorders make her an invaluable asset to our service. Meg‘s compassionate nature has touched the lives of numerous families and individuals, particularly elderly carers looking after partners with complex diagnoses. From those nearing the end of life to individuals with early-onset dementiaMeg offers her support with a kind heart, attentive ear, and a wealth of experience. Meg is a valued volunteer but also a cherished friend to The Carers Trust.

Della Gough

Della shines brightly as an outstanding volunteer at Careers Trust Solihull, showcasing unwavering reliability and a deep dedication to our mission. Though her role may be administrative, she consistently goes above and beyond, showcasing her commitment and enthusiasm. Beyond her volunteer duties, Della juggles the role of a full-time carer for her husband, Gerald, who faces significant challenges due to a brain injury. With over 8 years of service with us, Della has actively participated in our sessions and trips, always ready to lend a helping hand and provide support to her fellow volunteers.

In her role as an administrative volunteer, Della acts as the unseen force that holds our team together, handling tasks that are essential to our operations. Her willingness to take on tasks beyond her responsibilities was pivotal in the success of our charity ball in 2022Della played a crucial role in securing donations and funding, ensuring the event’s triumph, both in preparation and on the night itself. Della‘s selfless dedication and invaluable contributions make her a true pillar of strength within our organisation, embodying the spirit of volunteerism at its finest.

Nikki Burden

Nikki has devoted and dedicated her life to the betterment of SEND and individuals who require that support. A mother of four children and with additional needs herself, Nikki has used her experience and energy to go above and beyond for others who need help. She has ran and organised mutliple events for parents, to help them gain more knowledge about SEND, as well as respite and fun for SEND families; Christmas and Halloween parties amongst other things. To facilitate and organise all of this, Nikki maintains a Facebook support page that aims to support families but going above and beyond that, Nikki will also answer individual meesages from people who are struggling or need support. To better support herself, Nikki has recently enrolled in University, with the aim of achieving a degree in SEND so she can learn more and help as many people as she can. Nikki has made a difference in the lives of countless children and families with her tireless dedication. 

Meg Purvey

Meg, a dedicated volunteer at the Sitting Service for nearly two years, brings a wealth of experience and unwavering reliability to her role. The Sitting Service offers vital respite to elderly carers, some well into their nineties, caring for loved ones with conditions like dementiaParkinson’s disease, and Motor Neurone Disease. Many carers have minimal respite, leading to high levels of stress, isolation, and emotional strain. Meg steps in to provide relief by sitting with those under care, allowing carers a few hours to themselves for a walk, social outing, or moment of relaxation. 

Having recently retired, Meg’s 25 years of expertise in supporting individuals with mental health disorders make her an invaluable asset to our service. Meg‘s compassionate nature has touched the lives of numerous families and individuals, particularly elderly carers looking after partners with complex diagnoses. From those nearing the end of life to individuals with early-onset dementiaMeg offers her support with a kind heart, attentive ear, and a wealth of experience. Meg is a valued volunteer but also a cherished friend to The Carers Trust.

Della Gough

Della shines brightly as an outstanding volunteer at Careers Trust Solihull, showcasing unwavering reliability and a deep dedication to our mission. Though her role may be administrative, she consistently goes above and beyond, showcasing her commitment and enthusiasm. Beyond her volunteer duties, Della juggles the role of a full-time carer for her husband, Gerald, who faces significant challenges due to a brain injury. With over 8 years of service with us, Della has actively participated in our sessions and trips, always ready to lend a helping hand and provide support to her fellow volunteers.

In her role as an administrative volunteer, Della acts as the unseen force that holds our team together, handling tasks that are essential to our operations. Her willingness to take on tasks beyond her responsibilities was pivotal in the success of our charity ball in 2022Della played a crucial role in securing donations and funding, ensuring the event’s triumph, both in preparation and on the night itself. Della‘s selfless dedication and invaluable contributions make her a true pillar of strength within our organisation, embodying the spirit of volunteerism at its finest.

Educational Setting of the Year

Educational Setting of the Year

Maxine Bromley (Grace Academy)

Maxine organises a weekly gathering during break time for Young Carers in the school community to come together. Held in her classroom, the meet-up offers snacks and a chance for attendees to talk to her if they require assistance.

With a remarkable understanding of the Young Carers in the school community, Maxine actively seeks to connect with them regularly to inquire about their well-being. She creates a nurturing and secure space where young carers feel comfortable seeking support when necessary. In moments of need, Maxine is responsive and encouraging, ensuring that young carers receive the help they require in a timely manner.

Cameron Quinn ( Tudor Grange Kingshurst Academy)

Amidst a demanding workload, Cameron has made it a priority to ensure that his school acknowledges those with caring responsibilities and provides them with the necessary support. He has successfully raised awareness among staff and students, leading the team to achieve a YC award (Bronze) and immediately setting sights on attaining the next level to better serve these students.

In addition to upholding student safety, Cameron passionately advocates for young carers and their families. He is actively assisting other schools within the Trust to adopt similar practices and has contributed to the development of a Trust-wide policy that will benefit communities across multiple counties.

Cameron‘s diligent efforts, driven by his unwavering commitment to overlooked students, speak volumes about his character. Despite his reluctance for praise or acknowledgment, his achievements reflect his persistence and dedication to enhancing support for those in need. As a remarkable ambassador, Cameron and the dedicated safeguarding team exemplify unwavering compassion towards those requiring assistance, making them deserving recipients of this award.

Russel Jones (Greswold School)

Situated in South SolihullGreswold School stands as a nurturing primary institution that has been actively championing young carers for four years, culminating in the prestigious YCiS Bronze award in 2023. The school has dedicated significant resources to support young carers, with Russel Jones leading the charge as the committed operational lead, embracing his role with passion and wholehearted dedication.

Russel Jones, with unwavering enthusiasm, diligently seeks out hidden young carers within the school community to provide essential assistance to them and their families. Greswold School shines as one of the rare primary settings in Solihull to attain a Bronze Award, signifying the high standard of structured support available to its pupils.

Maxine Bromley (Grace Academy)

Maxine organises a weekly gathering during break time for Young Carers in the school community to come together. Held in her classroom, the meet-up offers snacks and a chance for attendees to talk to her if they require assistance.

With a remarkable understanding of the Young Carers in the school community, Maxine actively seeks to connect with them regularly to inquire about their well-being. She creates a nurturing and secure space where young carers feel comfortable seeking support when necessary. In moments of need, Maxine is responsive and encouraging, ensuring that young carers receive the help they require in a timely manner.

Cameron Quinn ( Tudor Grange Kingshurst Academy)

Amidst a demanding workload, Cameron has made it a priority to ensure that his school acknowledges those with caring responsibilities and provides them with the necessary support. He has successfully raised awareness among staff and students, leading the team to achieve a YC award (Bronze) and immediately setting sights on attaining the next level to better serve these students.

In addition to upholding student safety, Cameron passionately advocates for young carers and their families. He is actively assisting other schools within the Trust to adopt similar practices and has contributed to the development of a Trust-wide policy that will benefit communities across multiple counties.

Cameron‘s diligent efforts, driven by his unwavering commitment to overlooked students, speak volumes about his character. Despite his reluctance for praise or acknowledgment, his achievements reflect his persistence and dedication to enhancing support for those in need. As a remarkable ambassador, Cameron and the dedicated safeguarding team exemplify unwavering compassion towards those requiring assistance, making them deserving recipients of this award.

Russel Jones (Greswold School)

Situated in South SolihullGreswold School stands as a nurturing primary institution that has been actively championing young carers for four years, culminating in the prestigious YCiS Bronze award in 2023. The school has dedicated significant resources to support young carers, with Russel Jones leading the charge as the committed operational lead, embracing his role with passion and wholehearted dedication.

Russel Jones, with unwavering enthusiasm, diligently seeks out hidden young carers within the school community to provide essential assistance to them and their families. Greswold School shines as one of the rare primary settings in Solihull to attain a Bronze Award, signifying the high standard of structured support available to its pupils.

Healthcare Provider of the Year

Healthcare Provider of the Year

Olusola Odedina (BUPA)

For over 25 years, Olusola has been a beacon of strength and inspiration as a healthcare carer at Bupa in Solihull. Her journey reflects resilience, compassion, and selflessness, establishing her as a valuable asset to her community and an outstanding role model.

Despite personal challenges, including her recent battle with leukemiaOlusola remains wholeheartedly devoted to her profession and the welfare of others. Her ability to persevere in the face of adversity is truly commendable, showcasing her unwavering commitment to bringing positivity to those around her. Even amidst her health struggles, she continues to advocate for and uplift others confronting similar obstacles.

Beyond her professional commitments, Olusola serves as a devoted full-time carer for her husband, whom she met at their local church. Despite her husband’s health issues, Olusola prioritises his care while excelling in her role as a healthcare carer. Her graceful balance of responsibilities underscores her strength of character and unwavering devotion to her loved ones.

Olusola‘s exceptional support for unpaid carers is characterised by personalised guidance, empathetic listening, and practical aid. With over two decades of experience at Bupa in Solihull, she provides tailored advice and resources to assist unpaid carers in navigating their challenges. Her firsthand care for her husband, combined with her compassionate nature, enables her to offer invaluable emotional support and understanding. Olusola‘s commitment transcends professional duty; it embodies a genuine intent to alleviate others’ burdens, fostering a supportive community where individuals find comfort and resilience. Her empathy, effectiveness, and unwavering dedication make her a deserving candidate for recognition in her exceptional support for unpaid carers.

Grafton Road Surgery

The proactive stance taken by the surgery in aiding carers in the Shirley area is truly commendable.

Their patients highly appreciate their considerate approach taken by the surgery in reaching out to inquire about carer status’ and inviting them to join their register for additional support. The presence of a designated carers corner, housing information tailored to carers needs alongside details of external assistance available, reflects the surgery’s commitment to comprehensive care for carers. With Carers Trust Solihull’s carers pathway prominently displayed in each doctor’s room, carers are undoubtebly valued and respected within this healthcare environment.

Solihull Healthcare Partnership

Solihull Healthcare Partnership (SHP) stands as a collaborative consortium comprising seven GP surgeries across Solihull, including Blossomfield SurgeryDickens Heath Medical CentreGrove SurgeryMonkspath SurgeryThe Jacey PracticeShirley Medical Centre, and Haslucks Green Medical Centre.

Nominated for their exceptional dedication to supporting carers within their practices, SHP has taken significant strides in implementing initiatives for the benefit of local carers. Dr. Clare Webb leads the carers initiative within SHP, demonstrating a proactive approach in ensuring carers are acknowledged and well-supported. Collaborating with colleagues, Dr. Webb exhibits compassion and empathy towards carers’ needs, taking tangible actions to provide necessary support.

One of the notable initiatives by SHP is the annual carers health event, which has garnered significant success and attendance from carers and support organisations over the past two years. This event serves to enhance carer awareness, knowledge, and community engagement, reflecting SHP’s commitment to empowering carers. Additionally, the introduction of a comprehensive carers pack for new registrants offers essential information and guidance on available support services, furthering the assistance provided to carers.

Encouraging carers to join their GP carers register, SHP staff play a pivotal role in ensuring that carers receive the recognition and support they deserve. By identifying and connecting with carers through the register, healthcare professionals can tailor their care to meet the specific needs of carers effectively.

Recognising the challenge of reaching hidden carers, SHP leverages the accessibility of health settings, particularly GP surgeries, to engage with individuals who may not readily identify themselves as carers. With a patient base exceeding 55,000, many of whom either provide or receive care, SHP’s commitment to supporting carers is of paramount importance within the community.

Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, SHP continues to demonstrate exceptional support for carers, with plans in place to further enhance their initiatives in the future. The dedication and efforts of all SHP health professionals involved in prioritising carer support are truly commendable and deserving of recognition. Well done to the entire team at Solihull Health Partnership for their outstanding commitment to enhancing the well-being of carers in the community.

Olusola Odedina (BUPA)

For over 25 years, Olusola has been a beacon of strength and inspiration as a healthcare carer at Bupa in Solihull. Her journey reflects resilience, compassion, and selflessness, establishing her as a valuable asset to her community and an outstanding role model.

Despite personal challenges, including her recent battle with leukemiaOlusola remains wholeheartedly devoted to her profession and the welfare of others. Her ability to persevere in the face of adversity is truly commendable, showcasing her unwavering commitment to bringing positivity to those around her. Even amidst her health struggles, she continues to advocate for and uplift others confronting similar obstacles.

Beyond her professional commitments, Olusola serves as a devoted full-time carer for her husband, whom she met at their local church. Despite her husband’s health issues, Olusola prioritises his care while excelling in her role as a healthcare carer. Her graceful balance of responsibilities underscores her strength of character and unwavering devotion to her loved ones.

Olusola‘s exceptional support for unpaid carers is characterised by personalised guidance, empathetic listening, and practical aid. With over two decades of experience at Bupa in Solihull, she provides tailored advice and resources to assist unpaid carers in navigating their challenges. Her firsthand care for her husband, combined with her compassionate nature, enables her to offer invaluable emotional support and understanding. Olusola‘s commitment transcends professional duty; it embodies a genuine intent to alleviate others’ burdens, fostering a supportive community where individuals find comfort and resilience. Her empathy, effectiveness, and unwavering dedication make her a deserving candidate for recognition in her exceptional support for unpaid carers.

Grafton Road Surgery

The proactive stance taken by the surgery in aiding carers in the Shirley area is truly commendable.

Their patients highly appreciate their considerate approach taken by the surgery in reaching out to inquire about carer status’ and inviting them to join their register for additional support. The presence of a designated carers corner, housing information tailored to carers needs alongside details of external assistance available, reflects the surgery’s commitment to comprehensive care for carers. With Carers Trust Solihull’s carers pathway prominently displayed in each doctor’s room, carers are undoubtebly valued and respected within this healthcare environment.

Solihull Healthcare Partnership

Solihull Healthcare Partnership (SHP) stands as a collaborative consortium comprising seven GP surgeries across Solihull, including Blossomfield SurgeryDickens Heath Medical CentreGrove SurgeryMonkspath SurgeryThe Jacey PracticeShirley Medical Centre, and Haslucks Green Medical Centre.

Nominated for their exceptional dedication to supporting carers within their practices, SHP has taken significant strides in implementing initiatives for the benefit of local carers. Dr. Clare Webb leads the carers initiative within SHP, demonstrating a proactive approach in ensuring carers are acknowledged and well-supported. Collaborating with colleagues, Dr. Webb exhibits compassion and empathy towards carers’ needs, taking tangible actions to provide necessary support.

One of the notable initiatives by SHP is the annual carers health event, which has garnered significant success and attendance from carers and support organisations over the past two years. This event serves to enhance carer awareness, knowledge, and community engagement, reflecting SHP’s commitment to empowering carers. Additionally, the introduction of a comprehensive carers pack for new registrants offers essential information and guidance on available support services, furthering the assistance provided to carers.

Encouraging carers to join their GP carers register, SHP staff play a pivotal role in ensuring that carers receive the recognition and support they deserve. By identifying and connecting with carers through the register, healthcare professionals can tailor their care to meet the specific needs of carers effectively.

Recognising the challenge of reaching hidden carers, SHP leverages the accessibility of health settings, particularly GP surgeries, to engage with individuals who may not readily identify themselves as carers. With a patient base exceeding 55,000, many of whom either provide or receive care, SHP’s commitment to supporting carers is of paramount importance within the community.

Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, SHP continues to demonstrate exceptional support for carers, with plans in place to further enhance their initiatives in the future. The dedication and efforts of all SHP health professionals involved in prioritising carer support are truly commendable and deserving of recognition. Well done to the entire team at Solihull Health Partnership for their outstanding commitment to enhancing the well-being of carers in the community.

Employer of the Year

Employer of the Year

Port Lympne Hotel and Reserve

In a gesture of appreciation for a devoted carer who had faced numerous challenges, I arranged a well-deserved break for her and her young children at Port Lympne Hotel and Reserve. Seeking to maximise the value of the experience, I personally reached out to the hotel to explore available options. To my surprise, the manager’s response exceeded all expectations.

The manager, displaying remarkable kindness, promptly offered a 25% discount on the carer’s stay, upgraded their safari tour at no extra cost, and provided unwavering support to ensure the family’s comfort and delight throughout their visit. Going above and beyond, the manager’s meticulous planning and open communication alleviated any concerns, allowing the carer to relax and enjoy the experience without worry. The family’s time at the hotel was nothing short of amazing, leaving a lasting impression on the children who still recall the experience fondly.

Such genuine acts of kindness and care are rare in the hospitality industry, making this encounter truly exceptional. The manager’s empathy and understanding of the carer’s story highlighted the significance of the “Time For Me” break, demonstrating a deep appreciation for the challenges faced by unpaid carers. This thoughtful gesture not only provided a much-needed respite for the carer and her family but also showcased the positive impact of immersing oneself in nature and serene surroundings on emotional well-being.

In a world where unpaid carers often struggle financially, the support extended by the hotel not only offered a moment of joy but also served as a beacon of hope and solace. This heartwarming experience exemplifies the profound influence of compassion and generosity, uplifting spirits and nurturing emotional health in those who dedicate their lives to caring for others.

Dementia Carers Count

Since 2022, Dementia Carers Count (DCC) has forged a meaningful partnership with Carers Trust Solihull, offering invaluable advice and guidance to the team. Through dedicated sessions held during Dementia Action Week, DCC has equipped carers with essential tools and knowledge to navigate the challenges of supporting loved ones at different stages of dementia. These sessions have not only empowered carers with practical insights but also fostered a supportive environment for peer interaction and shared experiences.

With Carers trust Solihull currently assisting over 500 carers living with dementia, the collaboration with DCC has proven to be a vital source of support. As the demand for dementia care services continues to rise, the expertise and assistance provided by Sue Hinds and Katy Evans from Dementia Carers Count have been instrumental in offering guidance and support to both staff and carers alike.

Dementia Carers Count extends a range of free services aimed at enhancing the understanding of dementia among family carers. From comprehensive online resources and information guides to engaging virtual training events and personalised telephone support, DCC ensures that carers have access to the tools they need to navigate their caregiving journey effectively. The telephone support, in particular, has been lauded by carers for its helpfulness in providing tailored information and compassionate care guidance.

Carers have spoken highly of the workshop sessions organised by Dementia Carers Count, emphasising the value of interactive learning and peer engagement in enhancing their caregiving skills and confidence. The collaborative efforts between DCC and ourselves highlight the importance of ongoing support and education for carers, underscoring the positive impact of shared knowledge and experiences in fostering a supportive community for those affected by dementia.

Lily's Tea Parlour

In 2012, Teresa Farrell found herself facing adversity, having “lost everything” and on the brink of homelessness. However, with the support of her family, she not only found stability but also discovered a newfound purpose in helping others in need.

Out of this challenging period emerged Lily’s Tea Parlour, a beacon of hope located in Chelmsley Wood shopping centre. Alongside the cafe, Teresa established Push on Wellbeing, a community interest company, with funding from various groups, including Solihull Council. This initiative was driven by Teresa’s unwavering dedication to supporting struggling individuals in the community.

At Lily’s Tea Parlour, visitors are welcomed with tea, cakes, and a listening ear, offering not just nourishment for the body but also solace for the soul. In response to the recent cost-of-living crisis, additional food provisions have been made available to those in need, with a primary focus on promoting mental wellbeing and emotional support.

Collaborating with Carers Trust Solihull, Lily’s Tea Parlour has become a hub for carers to come together, connect, and share experiences. Carers meet-ups have provided a space for individuals to engage with others facing similar challenges, fostering a sense of community and camaraderie over tea and cake. In addition to social gatherings, struggling carers have received support ranging from clothing donations to hot meals, demonstrating a holistic approach to addressing the diverse needs of the caregiving community.

Through initiatives like Lily’s Tea Parlour and Push on WellbeingTeresa Farrell exemplifies the transformative power of compassion and community support. Her journey from adversity to advocacy serves as an inspiration, reminding us of the profound impact that a simple act of kindness can have on those facing hardship.

Port Lympne Hotel and Reserve

In a gesture of appreciation for a devoted carer who had faced numerous challenges, I arranged a well-deserved break for her and her young children at Port Lympne Hotel and Reserve. Seeking to maximise the value of the experience, I personally reached out to the hotel to explore available options. To my surprise, the manager’s response exceeded all expectations.

The manager, displaying remarkable kindness, promptly offered a 25% discount on the carer’s stay, upgraded their safari tour at no extra cost, and provided unwavering support to ensure the family’s comfort and delight throughout their visit. Going above and beyond, the manager’s meticulous planning and open communication alleviated any concerns, allowing the carer to relax and enjoy the experience without worry. The family’s time at the hotel was nothing short of amazing, leaving a lasting impression on the children who still recall the experience fondly.

Such genuine acts of kindness and care are rare in the hospitality industry, making this encounter truly exceptional. The manager’s empathy and understanding of the carer’s story highlighted the significance of the “Time For Me” break, demonstrating a deep appreciation for the challenges faced by unpaid carers. This thoughtful gesture not only provided a much-needed respite for the carer and her family but also showcased the positive impact of immersing oneself in nature and serene surroundings on emotional well-being.

In a world where unpaid carers often struggle financially, the support extended by the hotel not only offered a moment of joy but also served as a beacon of hope and solace. This heartwarming experience exemplifies the profound influence of compassion and generosity, uplifting spirits and nurturing emotional health in those who dedicate their lives to caring for others.

Dementia Carers Count

Since 2022, Dementia Carers Count (DCC) has forged a meaningful partnership with Carers Trust Solihull, offering invaluable advice and guidance to the team. Through dedicated sessions held during Dementia Action Week, DCC has equipped carers with essential tools and knowledge to navigate the challenges of supporting loved ones at different stages of dementia. These sessions have not only empowered carers with practical insights but also fostered a supportive environment for peer interaction and shared experiences.

With Carers trust Solihull currently assisting over 500 carers living with dementia, the collaboration with DCC has proven to be a vital source of support. As the demand for dementia care services continues to rise, the expertise and assistance provided by Sue Hinds and Katy Evans from Dementia Carers Count have been instrumental in offering guidance and support to both staff and carers alike.

Dementia Carers Count extends a range of free services aimed at enhancing the understanding of dementia among family carers. From comprehensive online resources and information guides to engaging virtual training events and personalised telephone support, DCC ensures that carers have access to the tools they need to navigate their caregiving journey effectively. The telephone support, in particular, has been lauded by carers for its helpfulness in providing tailored information and compassionate care guidance.

Carers have spoken highly of the workshop sessions organised by Dementia Carers Count, emphasising the value of interactive learning and peer engagement in enhancing their caregiving skills and confidence. The collaborative efforts between DCC and ourselves highlight the importance of ongoing support and education for carers, underscoring the positive impact of shared knowledge and experiences in fostering a supportive community for those affected by dementia.

Lily's Tea Parlour

In 2012, Teresa Farrell found herself facing adversity, having “lost everything” and on the brink of homelessness. However, with the support of her family, she not only found stability but also discovered a newfound purpose in helping others in need.

Out of this challenging period emerged Lily’s Tea Parlour, a beacon of hope located in Chelmsley Wood shopping centre. Alongside the cafe, Teresa established Push on Wellbeing, a community interest company, with funding from various groups, including Solihull Council. This initiative was driven by Teresa’s unwavering dedication to supporting struggling individuals in the community.

At Lily’s Tea Parlour, visitors are welcomed with tea, cakes, and a listening ear, offering not just nourishment for the body but also solace for the soul. In response to the recent cost-of-living crisis, additional food provisions have been made available to those in need, with a primary focus on promoting mental wellbeing and emotional support.

Collaborating with Carers Trust Solihull, Lily’s Tea Parlour has become a hub for carers to come together, connect, and share experiences. Carers meet-ups have provided a space for individuals to engage with others facing similar challenges, fostering a sense of community and camaraderie over tea and cake. In addition to social gatherings, struggling carers have received support ranging from clothing donations to hot meals, demonstrating a holistic approach to addressing the diverse needs of the caregiving community.

Through initiatives like Lily’s Tea Parlour and Push on WellbeingTeresa Farrell exemplifies the transformative power of compassion and community support. Her journey from adversity to advocacy serves as an inspiration, reminding us of the profound impact that a simple act of kindness can have on those facing hardship.

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Raising awareness with BBC Radio WM

Our own Pauline Manby shared with Merisha Stevenson of BBC Radio WM, the work we do to help support and raise awareness for unpaid carers. Watch the segment here.