Pauline Mountain, executive chairman of the Lincolnshire Carers and Young Carers Partnership, has been awarded an MBE.
She hs been named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for her voluntary work to help unpaid family carers.
Pauline said: “I’m a bit surprised really. I do a lot of work but I do it because it’s me, not for the rewards, it’s all voluntary.”
A carer herself for many years to her husband Gordon, who suffered from heart problems, she set up her own organisation called Hope in 2006 to support the patients living with heart failure, as well as their carers and families.
Gordon passed away in 2008, and from then she became involved with the Lincolnshire Carers Partnership under the county council, working to offer support for the carers as she knows herself the pressures they face, often for little or no recognition.
People may not realise they are a carer if they are looking after a close family member such as a husband, wife or child. Pauline admits she did not think to seek support as she didn’t see herself as a carer.
There are currently over 79,000 carers in Lincolnshire and Pauline says this number could be much higher as it excludes children under 18.
She explained: “When you look at the reverse, if something happened to me would I want my children put into a foster home, or ask them to do small jobs around the house for me to help out? One of the things we highlight is that support can be put in place so that people can stay in their own homes.
“There is lots of help available once you understand what is involved, that’s what I do, open people’s eyes.”
One of the key support schemes in place by the LCP and LYCP is the emergency response scheme, which takes care of the carer and their patient if the carer is taken ill.
Pauline added: “To see people come together and start to support each other gives me an enormous amount of satisfaction. I know that my husband will be looking down and feeling proud of me.”
Since Gordon’s death, daughter Amie has gone on to study medicine.