Today’s post was written by one of our carers, Fiona Carr, who cares for her husband John.
‘Would you and John like to represent the Carers’ Centre at an Award Ceremony in London next week as a guest of the BANES Care Commissioning Group?’ Janine asked me. I immediately replied that of course I would, as I am always happy to promote the work of the Carers’ Centre. It was only when Janine emailed me details of the event that I realised that it was a Black Tie event to be held at The Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane. The event I learnt was going to be hosted by the Health Service Journal. I frantically tried on my evening gown and John his dinner jacket to check that they still fitted. Well, it has been quite a while since we had last wore them.
Then the doubts started. My husband John is disabled following a massive stroke. How are we going to cope at such an event with over 800 people attending? How are we going to get around London? Will people understand John who now has difficulty speaking? But as the Japanese proverb says, fear is only as deep as the mind allows, so off to London we went.
Not only did we manage, we had the time of our lives. Getting around London was easily solved by using taxis. When we arrived at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Clive the Head of Security took us under his wings. Throughout the night he went out of his way to make sure we were OK. When we joined the ladies from the BANES Care Commissioning Group we were greeted like long lost friends.
Unfortunately we did not win an award but it was wonderful to hear about all the work that has been going on throughout the country to support Carers. The Health Service Journal had set up a Twitter page for the event, so I enjoyed using my recently acquired Twitter skills (learnt by attending a course at the Carers’ Centre) to tweet my appreciation to them.