North Derbyshire health clinic honours hard-working unpaid carers
A North Derbyshire employer has shared their appreciation for two of their ‘unsung heroes’ by gifting them flowers to thank them for their stellar work as unpaid carers.
Newmedica Barlborough was keen to celebrate the contribution that unpaid carers make to society, during national Carers Week and showcased the efforts of employees Ellen Sherwood and Marie Pierrepoint who care for loved ones.
The workers both received flowers and Marie was also gifted a spa voucher as a ‘thank you’ for their collective hard work.
It comes as carers are recognised nationally as part of Carers Week – which started on Monday, June 7 and ends on Sunday, June 13.
Marie, who works for the eye health clinic and surgical centre as a full-time administrator, also shares unpaid caring responsibilities for her husband’s uncle and previously helped care for her husband’s aunt before she passed away.
Marie said: “My husband and I take it in turns to visit his uncle each night to take care of him.
"We love him and want to support him, but there also really isn’t anyone else who can take care of him.
"We’ve got children too, so between work, caring for him and taking care of them, I don’t get a lot of time for myself.
“We’re keen to avoid using professional carers for as long as we can, but we know the time will come when we can no longer cope alone.
"But we don’t really think of ourselves as carers, he’s family and we want to help him.
"Whatever happens to you in life, you just make it work, don’t you?”
The administrator is supported by line manager and Newmedica colleague Ellen Sherwood.
Ellen can relate to the challenges Marie faces because she cared for her mum after she was diagnosed with dementia.
While her mum passed away nine years ago, Ellen can remember the difficulty of being an unpaid carer and how important it is to have a supportive employer while looking after a loved one.
“Mum had other health issues too, but when she developed dementia caring for her became more challenging, and I had to go to the hospital with her as she couldn’t manage on her own”, Ellen added.
“My employer at the time was really supportive of the fact that I often had to leave work to support her, but it felt like I was always juggling different aspects of my life which was difficult and really mentally and physically draining.
"So I know first-hand what Marie is trying to juggle now and do all I can to support her.
"But we’re a close knit-team in our office anyway, so we all try to look after each other.”
Head of HR at Newmedica Hayley Graham commented: "Newmedica is committed to supporting our people to balance their personal responsibilities with those at work.
“We welcome discussions around flexible working arrangements and offer a range of working patterns.
"Our employee assistance programme, We Care, is comprehensive covering a range of services including personalized counselling and support from mental health professionals.
“We also encourage our line managers to regularly talk to their teams and encourage them to be open about the challenges they’re facing.”