THEY are an invisible army, but these domestic troopers should step forward and take a bow.
Unpaid and unsung heroes, carers are on the home frontline day in, day out, providing the practical and emotional support that a friend or relative needs.
Sheffield has an estimated 60,000 of them and today we salute them for their incredible, selfless deeds.
Without their efforts, thousands of city folk would feel abandoned. Who would cook their meals, hang out the washing or be their shoulder to cry on?
They are people like Ruth Lawson, who has cared for her mum for 20 years - a mission which started when she was a teenager and continues today.
Her mum Lyn cannot praise Ruth highly enough. And we should all be grateful.
Ruth helps Lyn raise a smile. But without her, she has no one. And that would mean care falling to the state.
The bill would be phenomenal and with the best will in the world, the care would not match that which Ruth provides.
The Lawsons are one story - their experience is repeated thousands of times over in this city alone and is the reason why we pay tribute to the carers.
This is their week - National Carers Week - and a time to reflect on the sacrifices they make.
It’s time to show the carers that we care about them and ensure that they take advantage of the services which exist to help.
Sheffield Council, NHS Sheffield and the Carers Centre have joined forces to provide a scheme to help.
GP surgeries are the focal point - they can point the way to valuable support and advice
It’s essential that carers know what is available and how it can be got. It’s the least we can do.
Bright ideas and hard work pay off
EVEN in the gloomiest of economic times, there are good news stories which ought to offer encouragement to businesses which feel they are swimming against the tide.
And that is why we are delighted to sound a fanfare for Sheffield entrepreneur Ruth Amos whose business, StairSteady, is beginning to capture the attention of international markets.
It is remarkable that Ruth is just 21 years old but even more eye-catching is the fact that she is marketing an idea she first developed when still at school.
For, at just 15 years of age, she began to develop the concept as part of a GCSE course and it is now paying dividends many times over.
Surely this is an encouragement not only for businesses seeking to expand their growth rates but also for newcomers to the commercial world. Ruth is showing that hard work and a bright idea can open doors.