Recognising the contribution of unpaid carers

Posted on: Tuesday 9 January 2024

Being an unpaid carer is a role that often goes without recognition but for carer Dave Mynott, his dedication to supporting people and their loved ones with dementia has led to the award of the British Empire medal (BEM). 

Dave, from Abersychan, was nominated for the New Year’s Honour by Torfaen Council’s Carers Support Worker Louise Hook, who met Dave 8 years ago when she was Centre Co-ordinator of Torfaen Carers centre.  Dave was running the Wednesday group at the centre at the time and they have remained friends ever since. 

According to the recent census, 10.5% of the population in Wales, which equates to more than 310,000 people, are unpaid carers. These are people of all ages, including children and young people, who may be looking after a relative or friend who is ill, frail, has a disability, addiction or mental health issues and that person cannot manage without them. 

For the past 14 years, Dave Mynott has volunteered supporting dementia carers, the Wednesday Dementia Group that meets at Pontypool Museum every week. The group  is an important source of emotional support for those who care for loved ones with dementia, people with dementia and ex-carers, also offering the chance to socialise and have fun.  

Dave, who with his ex-wife, cared for his mother-in-law who had dementia, said: “When I first heard about the award I thought I should decline it as the people in the dementia group are the real heroes in my opinion. Then I remembered the people who had nominated me. I felt very grateful and decided to accept the honour it on behalf of the group. The support we have had from the community and from Louise Hook and the team at Torfaen Council has been fantastic and I look forward to continuing the work throughout 2024.

“The most important thing I would say to anyone who is a carer is to look after yourself. You, as a carer, are important and you are cared about.  So I would encourage anyone reading this who is caring for someone to come along to the Wednesday group, to meet other carers and to find time for themselves, even for an hour or two,” he added.

Cllr. David Daniels, Executive Member for Adult Services and Housing at Torfaen Council, said: “On behalf of the Council, I would like to extend my congratulations and sincere thanks to Dave Mynott. The work he does to bring together people directly affected by dementia, either personally or in the role of carer, is so important.  

“I would also like to thank every unpaid carer across Torfaen. Their kindness and commitment is beyond measure and it is vital that they receive all the support they need. I would encourage anyone caring for a family member or friend to visit the council’s website to ensure they are accessing all the support they can.” 

For more information about the Wednesday Dementia Club, contact Dave Mynott direct on 07728 482376 or by email:

Unpaid carers can find out about other practical help and support  from Louise Hook by emailing or calling the Torfaen Carers Hub on 01495 753838. Or follow Torfaen Adult Carers and Torfaen Young Carers on Facebook.

Find out about what grant support is available by visiting Torfaen Council’s carers support page.

The Gwent Carers Hub, in Crane Street, Pontypool, run by Carers Trust South East Wales, also offers specialist clinics, such as legal advice, as well as activity groups, emotional support and complementary therapies. It is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 3pm. Contact 01495 753838.

Last Modified: 19/01/2024 Back to top