Pictured at the launch of the Netwatch Family Carer of the Year Awards are, from left, Mick Galwey, Netwatch Brand Ambassador and Ireland rugby legend; 2021 Leinster Young Carer of the Year recipient Evan Corbally and his sisters, Aoibhín (3) and Rose Martin (5); Miriam O’Callaghan, awards patron and broadcaster and Ruaidhrí Kelly, Family Carers Ireland. PHOTO: Mark Stedman

Family Carers Ireland is calling on the public to help shine a light on Ireland’s forgotten frontline by nominating a family carer or young carer they know for this year’s Netwatch Family Carer of the Year Awards.

Now in their 15th year, the awards seek to honour the extraordinary work of each and every one of the more than 500,000 family carers in Ireland who provide care at home for loved ones such as children or adults with additional needs, physical or intellectual disabilities, frail older people, those with palliative care needs or those living with chronic illnesses, mental health challenges, or addiction. The 19 million hours of unpaid care they provide each week would cost the state €20bn a year to replace.

The national charity representing Ireland’s family carers says that more must be done to ensure that family carers are not only recognised for their immense contribution, but truly supported to care safely at home.

Catherine Cox, Head of Communications and Policy, Family Carers Ireland said:

“Family carers go above and beyond every single day in providing remarkable levels of care for their loved ones at home – often to the detriment of their own physical, mental, financial and social wellbeing. They are mums, dads, sons, daughters, siblings, relatives, friends and colleagues – ordinary people doing extraordinary work. As a society, we must ensure that they are properly supported and acknowledged. These awards seek to not only give family carers the recognition they deserve, but also to shine a light on this forgotten frontline and the challenges that they face. We firmly believe that no one should have to care alone.

Awards patron and broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan said:

“The Netwatch Family Carer of the Year Awards are a timely opportunity for us all to honour the extraordinary work of each and every one of Ireland’s family carers. They are some of the most hardworking, dedicated and compassionate people you could come across and their stories deserve to be heard.”

Netwatch Brand Ambassador and Irish rugby legend Mick Galwey said:

“Netwatch is now 20 years in business and during these years we have always worked hard to support the communities in which we work. When we first partnered with the Netwatch Family Carer of the Year Awards, we had no idea of the positive impact it would have on us. The entire Netwatch team has gotten behind it and we are honoured to be a part of such an inspiring group of people.”

Nominate someone you know today here or call the National Freephone Careline on 1800 24 07 24 to request a nomination form by post. Nominations should be submitted no later than October 21st.