A KIND Redditch woman has been recognised for the care she gives her husband despite being ill herself.

Valerie Herlihy, 79, of Johnson Close, Abbeydale, has been given the title of Karma Carer of 2012.

The award was started by Redditch firm Karma Mobility as a way of highlighting unsung heroes in the community that give up their time to care for a husband, wife, child.

The company asked people to nominate someone they felt deserved recognition for their hard work and dedication and offered a hamper worth £200 as the prize.

The winning nomination came from Mrs Herlihy’s daughter Anna-marie. She said: “My mum is severely disabled with arthritis but, no matter how much pain she is in, she cares for my dad who has vascular dementia.

“He is now barely able to speak and cannot take responsibility for any of his daily needs. Mum takes care of him 24/7 and tries to help him to maintain his independence by always letting him do the things that he is able to do. She is also very patient and discusses everything with him so that he still has an input into their daily lives.”

She added: “Mum rarely has a break from her caring role but she never grumbles or complains. Mum and dad have been married for 60 years this year and received their anniversary telegram from the Queen, so to end the year as Carer of the Year would just be the icing on the cake.”

Mrs Herlihy was over the moon with her win and felt overwhelmed by the accolade. She said: “What a lovely surprise. It is the perfect way to end such a special year for us. I never expect anything in return for caring for my husband, it is just what I do and I am happy to do it, but the hamper is a very nice gesture.”

For more information about Karma Mobility, which offers high quality wheelchairs to suit a wide range of requirements, call 0845 6303436 or visit karmamobility.co.uk