Young Carer, nominated by Carers First, is crowned Britain’s Unsung Hero

Carers First is delighted to announce that young carer Adiba Salam, an 18-year-old student and young carer from Newham, has been crowned Right Guard’s National Unsung Hero 2020.  

The competition, set up by toiletries giant, Right Guard, aimed to find people who have gone above and beyond this year to ‘sweat for others in their community’.  Nominated by Carers First team member Yvonne Patterson, Adiba was recognised for her selfless work caring for her 10 year old brother, supporting her family with household bills and chores as well as her work volunteering with the British Heart Foundation.

Adiba stood out to the competition’s judges, who included West End Stars, Samuel Edwards and Emily Tierney, and beat a host of nominees to the £2,000 prize. 

Nominator Yvonne Patterson, surprised Adiba with the news and presented her with a giant cheque.  Abida was delighted and explained,  “I feel deeply honoured and privileged to have won the Unsung Hero Award 2020. Words can’t express how grateful I am to my nominator and to Right Guard for this wonderful opportunity. I am an A-level student at the NCS and when I am not in education I have caring responsibilities. This year has been particularly difficult due to the pandemic and it has been upsetting seeing my brother regress in his learning abilities, therefore with the prize money I will take my family to travel for a well-deserved break and for activities tailored to special needs children.” 

Alison Taylor Chief Executive at Carers First said of Adiba’s win, “we are delighted to hear that Adiba has been recognised and celebrated as a young carer, providing much needed support to her brother with special needs. Throughout the pandemic Adiba has faced the daily challenge of caring for her brother, whilst juggling studying for her A levels. She is caring, compassionate and dependable.  There are currently at least 6.5 million unpaid carers in the UK, many of whom are not receiving the support they need. Carers First are here to help carers like Adiba, so that they continue living their lives to the fullest. Congratulations Adiba from everyone at Carers First!” 

2020 has been a challenging year for everyone and down the country people have gone out of their way to pull together and help others. Unpaid carers have been particularly badly affected by the impact of the pandemic, and many, like Adiba, have missed out on respite and social opportunities that would normally provide a break from their caring role. However, despite the difficulties this year has presented, carers have continued to support friends, family and neighbours who couldn’t manage without them.