SPOTLIGHT: Sandra Jones

It’s a memorable image, and a powerful one: Dunedin mum Sandra Jones decked out in an orange fluoro suit holding a large sign reading “crime doesn't pay, caregiving doesn't either" in Dunedin’s Octagon. She was one of the battlers in the struggle for family carers to be paid - something which ultimately resulted in the Funded Family Care payment.

SPOTLIGHT: Keri and her Dad

Keri didn’t grow up with her Dad, but when she ran into him as an adult, the former rest home caregiver knew he needed her help.

“I bumped into him in Wellington and all my experience with caring and servicing people kicked into place after seeing the way he was living and being treated,” the 51-year-old says. “And so began my journey looking after my Dad.”

SPOTLIGHT: Caring for Talien

SPOTLIGHT: Caring for Talien

Hamilton mum of four Shannon cares for her beautiful youngest child Tailen, who has Cystic Fibrosis.

Her days generally stretch from 6am to 1am, and include an intensive medication regime, two to three physio sessions, up to 30 nappy changes and the ever-present fear of infection.

The financial pressures are immense and she admits most days, she sits down and cries, but manages to keep going for the love of her family.

REMEMBER: Jill Pitkeathley

We still have the notes Carers NZ co-founder Laurie Hilsgen took during an historic telephone call with Jill Pitkeathley, then CEO of the United Kingdom's Carers National Association, in the early 1990s.

Laurie and Dorothy McCaw were in the process of finding out how other countries supported their family carers. Those were pre-internet days when discovering who was who in the world of caring wasn't as simple as a Google search.