A wonderful mum from Cradley Heath has been recognised as Britain’s top family carer.

Judges were ‘blown away’ by the commitment Sam Rudge has for her 12-year-old daughter Olivia who has complex disabilities.

Sam, 44, was described as a ‘selfless, positive’ carer who goes ‘above and beyond.’

She has had a particularly pressurised time with little respite because of lockdown but has never wavered.

“Sam deserves this award for the love, care and support he has given to Olivia and her family," said Richard Kramer, Chief Executive of national disability charity Sense, who organsied the national awards.

Sam was named Family Carer of the Year at the Sense Awards 2020

Throughout the pandemic Olivia has required full-time care and supervision. She has a missing chromosome which means she has developmental delay. She also suffers from insomnia and often struggles to sleep, meaning Sam regularly can only get a few hours rest at night.

Covid has significantly increased Sam’s caring duties, and the lack of daily structure for Olivia during has affected the whole family.

During lockdown Olivia’s behaviour became challenging, which meant she couldn’t be left alone.

Throughout it Sam worked hard to think of creative and different activities every day to keep Olivia learning and connecting with those around her to ensure she is living her fullest life.

Sam said: “I am very grateful, shocked and honoured to receive this. It is amazing to be recognised for all our hard work and I would like to say thank you again to the people who nominated me.”

Mr Kranmer said: “Disabled people and their families have been under huge pressure throughout the pandemic and have been disproportionately affected by its impact.

“We’re thrilled that through the Sense Awards we are able to recognise the outstanding achievements by disabled people and supporters during this past year.”

For more information about the Awards visit: sense.org.uk/sense-awards/