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Dec 2015 - Pride of Bedfordshire Awards

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Two of Bedfordshire’s unpaid family carers, Anne Grant and Lionel Albon, were rewarded at the Pride in Bedfordshire Awards, held at Bedford’s Corn Exchange in December 2015

Anne has been looking after her husband, Forbes, for 24 years, since he had a severe stroke and was left paralysed and without speech. She won both the Unsung Hero and Winner of Winners categories in recognition not only of her caring, but also her work co-editing the Renhold village newsletter, co-founding Renhold’s pudding club for carers, and her long term involvement with local carers’ support charity, Carers in Bedfordshire.

Lionel Albon, who cared for his wife, won the Volunteer of the Year category. Lionel offers one-to-one support sessions lending a sympathetic, experienced ear to carers of those with dementia at the weekly Carers Rest, run by Carers in Bedfordshire. Mick James, who nominated him said, “Lionel has for many years been an active member of the Rest, and over the last year or so he has also offered successful peer to peer support to many of the group members. He has helped and is still helping carers cope with looking after their loved ones who are living with dementia. His service is well used, and highly regarded by his fellow carers.”

Anne said, “In the course of three minutes 24 years ago I became a carer and our two children became young carers. We never thought of ourselves with those titles, all we wanted to do was to get Forbes home, to be the centre of our family where he belonged.

“I feel a bit of a fraud accepting these awards as anything I am involved in I am just a member of a team. In looking after my husband I have a wonderful family and some great paid care workers. I couldn’t possibly do it all myself. So I am accepting this award on behalf of all family carers and all those helping them.”

Carers in Bedfordshire’s Chief Executive, Helen Satterthwaite, said, “We are thrilled that Anne and Lionel’s gifts to the community have been rewarded. On top of their own caring responsibilities they find the time to dedicate many hours to giving other carers the support they need through volunteering with Carers in Bedfordshire. We’re so privileged to have them.”

Press Release Date: December 2015