Hello Lynn

I have been caring for an elderly aunt for some years now. When I managed to move her from Manchester to Bedford, I was introduced to Carers in Bedfordshire. Whilst chatting to a volunteer I was told about the grant system and I was lucky enough to receive funding towards paying for a gym membership.  
Wow! How that helped me. The acknowledgment that I deserved to look after myself. Not having to feel guilty about spending money on myself. Realising how much the support has helped me I felt I wanted to do something for others. 
My professional career has given me skills that I feel are being unused at the moment and if I can offer those they will not be wasted. 

I am surprised to find that I also miss having a ‘leadership role’. A belonging to an organisation. Being someone other than wife, mother, grandmother and carer. I miss having ‘a badge’ 

I help out at some of the groups. First, I just made the tea and washed up, saying Hello to people to make them feel welcome. Then I got interested in the activities and enjoyed interacting with carers and their loved ones. I was able to use my initiative to see what needed doing and to help out where I could.

I also phone carers for the dementia team – having a friendly chat and a catch up, seeing if there’s anything we can help with. I can do this from home so I have a lot of flexibility.