Tag Archives: inspirational

Shining a Light on our Amazing Carers

A relieved Katy after her 10,000ft skydive!
A relieved Katy after her 10,000ft skydive!

At The Carers’ Centre, we aim to shine a light and give a voice to carers who often go unnoticed in society. Carers perform an inspirational role and sacrifice so much when they look after someone, and we are constantly amazed by their resilience and bravery. This blog post aims to highlight just a few of the wonderful things our carers have achieved.

In July 2015, Katy did a Skydive for us, helping to raise over £1000 for the centre. These funds helped to buy our Woodlands centre, providing a permanent home for carers in BANES. The following month, one of our carers Tracey was featured on ITV’s Lorraine, speaking with her husband Paul about his early-onset Alzheimer’s. In October it was a delight to name Tracey (along with Becky and Jennie) as an ‘Unsung Hero’ for her bravery and determination.

Featuring in our latest edition of CareTime, Donna Smith cares for her four grandchildren and lost 30lbs in 30 weeks through our Community Activator programme. She now feels happier and healthier thanks to Jane and Kath, and leads a more active life.

Many of our carers feel empowered enough to start businesses, managing work around their caring role and turning a hobby into profit. Some carers even bring their creations to our biannual Craft Fayres, helping to raise money for the Centre as well as for themselves.

Other carers use their confidence and initiative to set up groups, both at our Centres and within their local communities. For instance Jayne saw a need for a support group at her child’s school, and now runs a regular group for up to fifty parents. Meanwhile, at our Bath centre, Bev runs a regular support group for carers of people with challenging mental health conditions.

These wonderful people prove how determined carers can be, and that despite having complex home lives, they are willing to give back to the community. We’re so grateful for all their hard work and determination and can’t wait to see them all soon!

“It’s not just people who are grey who get Alzheimer’s”: Tracey’s Story

Tracey with her 'Unsung Heroes' Award at our Annual Award Ceremony
Tracey with her ‘Unsung Heroes’ Award at our Annual Award Ceremony

Tracey (pictured left) is a smiley individual full of love and laughter but it wasn’t all fun and games last year, when her husband Paul was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s aged just 54.

“I remember Paul would come home from his job in construction and say that some of the young guys at work were hiding his tools”, Tracey says. “At the time I didn’t think much of it, but now I realise it was the start of his memory problems”. After seeing his GP, Paul was referred to the RICE Memory Clinic. When they entered the clinic, Tracey noticed the information, posters and leaflets available all targeted older people.

They were then given the devastating news that Paul has early-onset Alzheimer’s, a condition which affects 5% of the population. Despite this difficult diagnosis and the additional care she now gives to Paul, Tracey has continued running the house, working part time and helping to look after her two grandchildren. Tracey is even keen to set up an Alzheimer’s support group here at the BANES Carers Centre.

Looking back, Tracey says “I would love to see a picture at the Memory Clinic of someone younger, someone who is still working, someone with a mortgage and children. Because that is the reality. It’s not just people who are grey who get Alzheimer’s”.

Back in August, Tracey and her husband Paul appeared on ITV’s Lorraine to spread awareness of early-onset Alzheimer’s, and in October it was our pleasure to award Tracey with ‘Unsung Hero’ at our Celebrating Carers ceremony. We felt Tracey deserved recognition for her bravery and resilience during such a difficult time. Well done Tracey – you’re a star!

If you’re caring for someone you love and need support, contact BANES Carers’ Centre free on 0800 0388 885.