The Carers of the Year and Young Carers of the Year Awards 2016 were launched in the Westin Hotel in Dublin on Thursday May 26th.
Speakers at the event included last year’s Carer of the Year Jennifer Carroll from Offaly; former Young Carer of the Year Sam Norris, from Dublin; and Family Carers Ireland patrons Marty Whelan and Mary Kennedy.
FCI CEO John Dunne remarked that the Awards “are not really about a competition – each nomination is a chance to say ‘Thank You’ to a carer”.
The launch was a celebration of two milestones, as it was the tenth anniversary of the Awards and the first for the merged Family Carers Ireland.
James Doyle of Tunstall Emergency Services, who sponsor the Awards, remarked: “I shudder to think what this country would be like without the work put in by family carers.”
The increasing prevalence of caring by young carers was highlighted at the launch. Family Carers Ireland Head of Communications Catherine Cox drew attention to a study conducted by the National University of Ireland, Galway in 2014 which found that, of 10,368 children aged 10 – 17 surveyed, 11.4% of respondents identified themselves as carers .
This year, for the first time, there will be four regional Young Carers of the Year Awards. 2015 saw a 400% increase in nominations for Young Carer of the Year.
Nominations for Carer or Young Carer (aged under 18) of the Year 2016 can now be made. The closing date for nominations is Friday, September 16th. If you know a deserving carer you would like to nominate for an award, nomination forms are available from any of our Carer Resource Centres around the country, or can be requested from our national CareLine at 1800 240724.
Nominations can also be made online, by completing our online nomination form.