Carers in the county have been praised for their selfless work at a plush awards ceremony.
The Northamptonshire Carers Awards, held yesterday (Wednesday, January 30) at Rushton Hall, near Kettering, recognised a host of deserving nominees.
Among the highly commended carers was 14-year-old Daisy Helsdown, from Kettering, who was nominated by mum Donna for the care she gives her. Donna, 42, has severe back problems, limiting her mobility, and, after getting back from school, Daisy cooks dinner, washes up and then helps five-year-old sister Grace with her homework.
Ceremony host, BBC Radio Northampton’s Joe Pignatiello, said Daisy was her mum’s rock.
Daisy said: “It was quite a shock, but lovely to know I had been recognised, especially out of everybody else in Northamptonshire.
“It was really lovely how mum worded my nomination, and it’s just an honour to have been recognised.”
Mum Donna added: “I am so proud of her it’s unreal. But as a mum I have always thought she deserves it because of what she does for me.”
Courtney Baker from Rushden, who also looks after her mum, was another nominee in the young carer category. Her nomination said: “Courtney never complains and is always there to support her mum. She waits for the day carer to arrive before going to school and does almost everything for her.”
Among the other local carers to be recognised was Pat Grieve, who was nominated for the carer of the year category. Mrs Grieve, from Kettering, looks after her adult son and also runs various community groups on the town’s Grange Estate.
She said: “There have got to be lots more people in here more worthy than me. I don’t consider myself a carer, I am a mum.”
Alison Fursey, from Northampton, won the carer of the year prize for caring for her severely ill husband around the clock for the past six and a half years.
The 53-year-old, from Farcotton, said: “To me, I just get on and do it. so to be recognised is lovely.”
Sisters Alice, Lottie and Tilly Mansfield scooped the Jane Roebuck young carer of the year award for looking after their mum, Miar, who has had to cope with multiple side effects since suffering a brain tumour two years ago, and is frequently hospitalised.
But Miar, 48, said the sisters, from Delapre, Northampton, take everything in their stride.
“I am very, very proud of them,” she said. “They take over everything because I end up in hospital quite a lot. Even when I am at home I forget things, but I know everything at home will be fine.”
Alice, 19, said it was not a chore to look after their mum. “We like looking after her,” she said.
“We just get on with it.”
Another winner was Elaine Sumpter, of Kingswood School in Corby, was named as the best member of school staff supporting carers.