Anne Smyth, founder and Director of the Carers’ Resource, has been awarded the OBE “for services to carers”. A leading national expert on care, she is also the Deputy Chair of the Standing Commission on Carers**.
She has dedicated the honour to Yorkshire’s growing number of carers and to the dedicated people with whom she works. Anne hopes it will raise awareness of the everyday pressures carers face looking after a loved one and of the value of providing specialist help for them.
“It is pleasing that this honour is announced in Carers’ Week – the annual focal point for marking the unique role they play day-in, day-out,” she said. “Too often, this role is hidden but I very much hope this award brings home to people what a huge difference carers can make, and how they need extra support.”
She added: “We all know someone who acts as a carer for a family member or a friend. I want to share this honour with them as a reward for the massive contributions they make – and the sacrifices that run alongside – right at the very heart of the community.”
The Carers’ Resource, which has offices in Harrogate, Ripon, Bradford and Skipton, has grown from humble beginnings to one of the largest and most successful carers’ centers in the country.
When the Carers’ Resource first opened its doors in 1995, it had just four staff working out of a single office in North Park Road, Harrogate.
Eighteen years later, it has helped nearly 20,000 young carers, parent carers, grandparent carers and adult carers. It has expanded its range of specialist services to meet their changing needs, opened three additional bases in the heart of the communities it serves and grown to employ more than 90 staff and about 120 volunteers.
Anne, who lives in Ripon, said: “Thanks to the skills, hard work and dedication of our staff and volunteers, the charity has travelled a long way since launch but our number one aim has never changed – to put carers first.
“As we embark on the next stage of our journey, where the challenges of an ageing population will come to the fore, this honour will act as a spur for ensuring we continue to support carers and other vulnerable people in whatever new and innovative ways we can.“
** The Standing Commission is an independent advisory body, providing expert advice to Ministers and the Carers’ Strategy Cross-Government Programme Board on progress in delivering the National Carers Strategy (a ten year Strategy published in 2008 and refreshed in 2010) and on a broad range of other policy issues relating to carers and support for their roles.