TODAY we launch our Gloucestershire Care Heroes award, to thank the county’s brave warriors of the coronavirus pandemic.
In association with Gloucestershire County Council, and supported by county MPs, we’re asking readers of the Stroud News & Journal, Wilts & Glos Standard and Gazette Series to nominate carers who have been an inspiration during the Covid crisis.
Over the next three weeks, we’ll profile these heroes in our titles to celebrate them, and ask our readers to vote for their favourite, with the winner revealed the week before Christmas.
Thanks to Gardiner Haskins in Cirencester, our Gloucestershire Care Hero 2020 will win a 43” Mitchell & Brown smart TV, while Pound Farm Shop in Stroud has offered a hamper worth £50.
Michael Purton, editor of the Stroud News, Wilts & Glos and Gazette, said: “During the Covid pandemic, we have rightly thanked our NHS doctors and nurses for their incredible efforts, but the nation’s carers deserve just as much recognition because they have been truly heroic in their unstinting dedication in looking after the vulnerable.
“Carers have put their own health on the line to continue providing fantastic care throughout the coronavirus crisis, so we want to celebrate Gloucestershire’s care heroes with this competition, to thank them for their amazing efforts.
“We want to celebrate all kinds of carers – those who work in a residential home, those who provide home care visits and those who care for a relative or friend. I urge all of our readers who have been helped by a carer, whether it’s them personally, a relative or a friend, to nominate that carer for our award.
“Although they may not win the award, the recognition of being featured in the newspapers will mean so much to them.”
Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said the authority was proud to support the competition.
“Carers of all sorts have always been heroes – Covid has just made that clearer still.
“Carers have always protected and supported the most vulnerable people in our community –I have really been inspired by the way they have continued to do so during this most challenging time.
“Gloucestershire Care Heroes is a fantastic opportunity to highlight just some of the fantastic carers in our community and to tell their stories.”
Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie is also backing the campaign. She said: “I am so pleased to support the Stroud News & Journal’s Care Heroes competition.
“Our carers have often been unsung heroes throughout the pandemic. They have worked tirelessly, supporting not only their residents, but also residents’ families – often through dark difficult times.
“Our local care sector deserves significant praise and support and this competition is a way for Stroud’s community to show it’s gratitude and appreciation for all it has done and continues to do.”
Cotswold MP Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown has also supported the initiative.
“This is an amazing competition, especially at this festive time,” he said. “An opportunity for us to thank all those carers who have gone above and beyond this year, at the beginning of the pandemic putting themselves at personal risk to care for others.
“No doubt there will be many heart-warming nominations and whoever emerges as the winner is a real hero of our community.”
You can vote for your Gloucestershire Care Hero 2020 by filling in the form in the newspaper, and also by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please put ‘Gloucestershire Care Heroes 2020’ as the subject of the email, and include the following information:
- The name of the carer
- Where they work
- Why you think they deserve to win the award
- Your name and your contact phone number so that we can call you in order to gather details for the feature profiling the carer you’ve nominated.
The deadline for voting is 10am on Monday, December 21. The winner will be announced on December 23.