A Wythenshawe man who has been caring for his friend has been recognised for his dedication in a national award scheme.
Kevin Wright, 34, from Woodhouse Park, cares for his friend Karen, who is 54. He has won a trophy and £100 as one of 11 special recognition awards as part of the British Caregiver Awards.
The scheme was created by National Accident Helpline to shine a light on the dedication shown by the UK’s 5.8 million unpaid carers.
He says: “I feel so proud and honoured to have won my British Caregiver Award, at the moment it resides on my mantlepiece, until it takes pride of place on the shelf I am going to put up for it!
“I never thought for a moment that I might get official recognition for what I do – I just get on with things; the health and wellbeing of the person I care for has always been reward enough for me.
“It’s nice to know that some famous and household name companies care too – thank you.”
It is currently National Carers Week and the Carers Trust has highlighted research revealing that three-quarters of carers with some of the most intensive caring responsibilities say their community does not understand or value their caring role, resulting in high numbers of carers struggling to balance other areas of their lives with caring.
And a report released last year revealed unpaid carers save the UK £132 billion a year – the cost of a second NHS
Kevin lives with and cares for his friend Karen, who suffers with a number of health issues including severe diabetes, damaged spinal discs, sciatica and psoriatic arthritis.
He deals with all aspects of her physical and mental wellbeing, including accompanying her to regular medical appointments, despite facing health problems of his own.
Kevin was nominated for the British Caregiver Award by his friend Carol Ahmad, 56.
Carol said: “Although all carers are absolute stars, I’m touched that Kevin has been recognised for all the hard work and compassion he applies to his role as an unpaid carer, and I’m over the moon that he’s won this lovely plaque to adorn his wall of achievements!”
Independent research, commissioned by National Accident Helpline, highlighted the serious lack of respite unpaid carers receive from their caring role, with 1 in 3 never having a break and 73% having one week or less of respite each year.
National Accident Helpline Managing Director and chair of the judging panel Simon Trott said: “We knew from our research, and through our work helping people who have suffered a personal injury, that unpaid carers face enormous challenges, many of them carrying out their caring role seven days a week without a break for months and even years.
“Kevin has been a true friend to Karen, and we were very moved by his outstanding care for her.”