17-year-old Hugh Hilliard has helped take care of his sister, who has autism, for over two years.
An Offaly teen has been crowned Leinster's 'Young Family Carer of the Year.'
17-year old Hugh Hilliard from Clara has helped care for his sister with additional needs since his mother passed away nearly two years ago.
Hugh’s mother passed away in 2020 after being diagnosed with a tumour and since then he’s taken on the role of being his sister, Ellen’s primary carer. Ellen has autism and requires significant support. Hugh helped his dad, David, get to know Ellen’s routine and how to look after her care needs.
Hugh has been a strong advocate for young carer supports and, speaking at the Young Carers Forum on Young Carers Action Day in March 2022, he encouraged other young people with caring responsibilities to link in with Family Carers Ireland for support.
Hugh grabbed the title at Netwatch's Family Carer of the Year Awards Ceremony in the Westin Hotel this afternoon.
He joins Tipperary's Cara Darmody, Galway's Sarah Ann Bunday and Donegal's Andrew McEleney as regional winners of the award.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Catherine Cox, Head of Communications and Policy, Family Carers Ireland, said:
"Although these awards highlight the remarkable dedication of a few, we’re really honouring all of Ireland’s family carers who go the extra mile every day in caring for their loved ones at home. Their stories are ones of love, kindness, empathy and selflessness. As a society, we must ensure that we listen to those stories, that we recognise the essential contribution made by family carers and that they are truly supported to care safely at home.
As a charity, we firmly believe that no one should have to care alone. We want family carers to know that they are not alone and that we are here to help them no matter where they find themselves on their caring journey."