Together at 40 Awards: Let's hear it for these brilliant parent carers
Saturday 29th June 2019
We've now announced the finalists of our upcoming Together at 40 Awards.
The Parent Carer Award recognises all the amazing things parent carers do to make sure their disabled child can take part in everyday life.
Our finalists are Iain and Annie Petherick from Wiltshire; Rory Ellison from Sheffield; and Jo Hercules from Aylesbury.
Jo was nominated by her friend Gail Walshe. Gail told us: "Jo is mum to three amazing young people, the youngest of whom, Mia, has Down Syndrome. Jo and Mia clearly adore each other and have so much fun together.
"They do car pool Karaokee together and it is impossible to tell who's having more fun. Every parent should have as much fun and joy with their child as Jo has with Mia and every child, disabled or not, should have a parent like Jo.
"Jo has health issues of her own, but this doesn't stop her having as much fun as possible and still fighting for the support Mia needs in school to be the independent woman she will one day become."
Iain and Annie Petherick were nominated by their friend Hannah Burville and a staff member at their son's respite centre Sabrina Beedie.
The couple have three children, nine-year-old Freddie, Ollie aged 8 and two-year-old Penny.Ollie has Angelman Syndrome, which affects just one in 12,000 children.
Hannah and Sabrina told us: "They are an amazing family whom not only do everything within their power to make sure their son with Angelman Syndrome has all the opportunities possible.
"Annie also writes a blog about all the things she goes through on a daily basis so other parents with children with disabilities knows they aren't alone. She always makes it funny and sees the best out of some pretty trying situations!
"They also have two other children whom are very much loved and the bond between the whole family is amazing. We admire their attitude and hope that they realise they are admired from afar!"
Rory was nominated by his wife Leanne. They have 11-year-old twin boys Oliver and Jacob and a daughter Lydia who is aged 6. Oliver has cerebral palsy as a result of brain damage prior to his birth.
Leanne told us: "Oliver requires help with all aspects of daily life. As a toddler he was incredibly frustrated by his disabilities and spent most of his days screaming.
"It was at this time I met Rory. Where lots of men would have found the situation very difficult, Rory came into our lives and transformed them. Through his love and determination to help Oliver succeed, Oliver changed from an angry, unhappy toddler to a bright, chatty, happy little boy.
"Rory always has time for Oliver and has spent hours, days, months teaching Oliver to do things that doctors said he would never do. So much so that Oliver now drives his own power assisted wheelchair.
"Rory also goes out of his way to ensure Oliver has fun and enjoys life. Oliver and Jacob love football and are big Sheffield Wednesday fans so Rory gives up every weekend to take them to football matches in the city and around the country."
Shortlisted families are invited to a very special awards ceremony and reception at the Members Dining Room at the Palace of Westminster, hosted by Radio 4 Woman's Hour presenter Jane Garvey on July 8 2019, where the winners will be announced.