LloydsPharmacy National Carers’ Awards
Cormac Tobin, managing director of Celesio UK
Army of ‘Hidden Heroes’ acknowledged
One in every five of our customers who come through our pharmacy doors are looking after someone. They may be a relative, a friend or a neighbour who needs help picking up their medicine, or more involved, round-the-clock care. No matter how big or small, a carer’s support can make all the difference in helping a loved one get the most out of life and that’s why we launched the LloydsPharmacy National Carers’ Awards two years ago.
The Awards are a humbling experience for me. I genuinely believe that the army of volunteer carers are the ‘hidden heroes’ in this country. I think we can all be guilty sometimes of overlooking these people, not really understanding what it takes to be a ‘carer’. Tonight, along with Carers UK, we’ll be recognising the selflessness and dedication these people exhibit when caring for a parent, spouse, child or friend.
Organisations like Carers UK do a fantastic job in making sure unpaid carers are not isolated and can access the help they need to continue ‘being there’ for loved ones. So it’s a great honour keep raising awareness for the everyday people doing extraordinary things.
Our winners will visit 10 Downing Street where they will meet the Rt. Hon Alistair Burt MP Minister of State for Community and Social Care before attending an awards gala. Although we are recognising these individuals, they represent the millions of unpaid carers in the UK. Within the next 20 years, it is anticipated that there could be up to 9 million ‘hidden heroes’ caring for a loved one.
Community pharmacy teams may be the most frequent contact some people and their carers have with a health care professional —and not requiring an appointment. Interesting then, that our third National Carers Awards takes place in a week when a petition with 1.8 million signatures was handed to MPs to protest at cuts to community pharmacy.
I believe it’s vitally important we shine a light on the sacrifices all carers make. By spreading awareness of these stories, others can be inspired to rise to the challenge of becoming a carer.