Mick's story

I was asked by Carers in Bedfordshire to lead a new men’s only walking group. I jumped at this chance as I am now happily retired and know what it’s like to be a carer having cared in the past for many years for my best mate and my Mum.

I also thought that as a former carer support worker at CiB I had some experience and knowledge which may be helpful to male carers.

Being a carer is often so time consuming and tiring that it takes over your life and what you want to do has to be put on the back burner. The men’s only walking group has given the 5 current members a chance to get away from their usual caring regimes and to meet others on a social basis

We have met 3 times now and the group members have started to bond well with each other. It’s much easier to talk whilst walking and, for the most part, the conversations have been about people’s shared interests, the pandemic and the restrictions – good and bad, and family issues. Caring issues are, of course, mentioned and the group members have helped each other with concerns and a range of difficulties. I feel that I have helped the Carers too with possible actions to take and have encouraged them to seek more help/ support from professionals both at CiB and other agencies.

 

Volunteering has given me a chance to help people and to use my knowledge and skills again in a positive way. I love walking and after each walking group, I feel a great deal of satisfaction as I know the members have valued the experience too. It’s nice to give something back to the community and I look forward to many more walks to come.