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Carer of the Year

Carer of the Year

Gareth Wilmot was just 36 when he was diagnosed with fronto-temporal dementia with Pick's Disease.

His parents Graham and Lesley, of Hope Avenue, Goldthorpe, have made it their mission to highlight the fact the disease can affect anyone at any age.

Gareth had been a lively 36-year-old with a partner he was planning to marry. He was a film fan and once appeared in a film with Richard Attenborough.

Now he needs 24 hour care and has lost the ability to speak and concentrate. The couple noticed changes in Gareth’s behaviour and that he had become withdrawn.

Having been named Carer of the Year, Lesley said: “We're shocked because everyone in that category is so well deserving. I’m not quite sure why we have won – Gareth is our son and everything we have done, we have done for Gareth. He's ok at the moment, though he doesn't speak to us anymore. If he wasn't ill and we won the award for something else, I think he would be over the moon.”

Judges' citation: “Graham and Lesley are determined that some good may come from the terribly sad plight of their son. They’ve shown incredible bravery to tell his story to show that dementia does not respect age.”

Our Carer of the Year is someone who puts their own needs aside to selflessly care for family members, partners, friends or others who suffer from ill health, are frail or have a disability.

This person may look after one person or many. They may be a family member or friend, a foster parent or someone from the medical profession such as a doctor or nurse.

The following points are intended as guidelines only, to help you with your nomination.

  • What kind of things does this person do to make life easier for someone else?
  • Do they run errands, do the shopping, tidy someone’s home or garden or help care for pets?
  • Are they always there to provide companionship and listen to people who need to talk?

Being a carer is an important job that many do without ever wanting or asking to be praised for it.

We would all do anything for our loved ones, but nominating someone you know for the Carer of the Year award is a great way to thank them for their commitment and give them the recognition they deserve.