I originally joined the Life Story Network as a volunteer driven by my desire to improve the lives of carers.
I understand how some of the smallest things in life can be difficult for carers; going to the shops is not as simple as just jumping in the car or on a bus.
My Mum Maureen is a full time carer for my dad, she has taken very little respite in the 15 years she has been his carer; she tells us she does not want respite, although we can see she sometimes needs it.
This traumatic change to my parent’s life is what inspires me. They cope day to day with all sorts of challenges; the physical, like having to swap having a bath to taking a shower, to the sheer frustration of telling the person from the bank on the other end of the telephone that Peter cannot talk to you over the telephone, because he cannot understand what you are saying, or Peter cannot sign that form, because the former Engineer can’t write anymore.
I want to see change in the way carers are treated by people; the shopkeeper, the council officer, the bank cashier, the bus driver. My mum and dad are still the same people and deserve to be treated with the dignity and respect they would have been afforded prior to dad’s diagnosis. Something needs to change and I sincerely believe that tide will help us to achieve that.
I have spent most of my working life in Industry, both in Human Resources and Health & Safety. I am an elected member of my local Council and passionate about making a difference to the lives of others, especially those who are less able to speak up for themselves.