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Giving Something Back: Trudy’s Story

Trudy with husband Mark
Trudy with husband Mark

Trudy cares for her husband Mark, who has a hereditary eye condition and is registered blind. For many years Trudy “just got on” with caring for Mark, but eventually struggled with her own emotional and physical wellbeing. Trudy says “I felt like I didn’t matter because Mark was the one who was suffering” – but many carers find that when their wellbeing suffers, their ability to care also suffers. Thankfully her GP referred her to our centre, where Trudy received support from our Community Activator service.

Trudy worked with our Community Activators for three months and saw a decrease in her weight and blood pressure. She says “the main thing was realising that I was not alone – the Carers’ Centre really helped me to know that other people were going through something similar”. This one-to-one support even helped Trudy’s confidence, and eventually she felt able to attend breaks run by the Carers’ Centre. Trudy says; “Mark has had a great deal of support and training from Blind Veterans UK. Now I am able to leave him at home and meet my friends again or go shopping without having to worry so much.”

Now that her confidence and wellbeing has improved, Trudy doesn’t just attend breaks with the Carers’ Centre: she often helps out at events and talks. She says; “I want to give something back to the Carers’ Centre as they have done so much for me”. Trudy volunteered to help at our last Craft Fayre in November and most recently lent a hand at our fundraising concert. She also regularly delivers talks to the social work students at Bath University so they can understand the realities of being a carer and volunteers at the RUH Carer Hub, providing support and advice for fellow carers.

Trudy’s devotion to give something back is always so inspiring and we’re so grateful for all of her hard work!

Young Carer takes time out for herself: Leeanne Roberts

Young Carer Leeanne with her dad Ray

Young carer Leeanne Roberts has been looking after her Dad, Ray, since he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Leeanne, with her mum and brother, care for Ray as a family. Through the Time for Change programme, which aims to help young adult carers to improve their health and wellbeing, Leeanne has been working with the Carers’ Centre Community Activators. “I feel like my health has improved since I started working with Jane [Harvey, Community Activator]. I have been walking a lot more and am just more active.”

The Community Activators programme looks at ways to improve carers’ health and wellbeing, offering health checks and advice about how to balance caring with an independent life. “Jane went through ways that I could improve my fitness, she got me involved with Passport to Health which allows me to go to the gym and exercise. I am feeling healthier and better about myself, my confidence is getting a bit better too. The best thing for me is it gets me out of the house, and I have someone to talk to about the things that I’m worried about.”

Leeanne is also making use of the breaks offered by the Centre: “My mum and I have put our names down to go on a relaxation break to the Thermae Spa to have a bit of a break. I think we both need it!”

Leeanne is one of the amazing Young Carers supported by the Carer’s Centre in BANES. To find out what our Young Carers get up to, follow @YoungCarersBNES on Twitter.