Every year the Irish Red Cross recognises the work of voluntary carers across Ireland through the Award which this year offers the winner€1,500 and a weekend hotel break in Ireland.
There are over well over 180,000 carers working unpaid across the country providing nearly 6.3 million hours every week, according to the most recent CSO statistics.
Family members, mainly spouses, account for over 89 per cent of carers and over-65s represent 22 per cent of those providing full-time care.
The total number of unpaid care hours provided by children under 15 years amounted to 38,496 weekly with those under nine accounting for around 35 percent of the total.
“As a humanitarian organisation supporting vulnerable people at home and abroad, the Irish Red Cross believes the work of voluntary carers, who dedicate their lives to others, should be celebrated.
“Our Carer of the Year Award does just that. It helps create public awareness of the extraordinary work of carers and gives them the chance to win a great prize,” Elaine Monaghan, Award coordinator said.
The award is open to all unpaid carers supporting the needs of people in any circumstance and of any age. Nominees do not need to be Red Cross members, Ms Monaghan stressed.
Nominations for this year’s award are now open and will close on August 31. The award ceremony will take place in November at the Mansion House in Dublin at a date to be confirmed.
Nomination forms are available through local Red Cross branches as well as to day care centres, libraries etc.
They can also be accessed from at www.redcross.ie/carer2015 where nominations can be made online or the form can be downloaded and sent by post to Irish Red Cross Carer of the Year, 16 Merrion Square, Dublin 2.
Further information, posters or nomination forms, can also be obtained from Elaine Monaghan, coordinator of the Irish Red Cross Carer of the Year Award at 01 642 4639.