Meet Stephanie – you can already tell by her sunny smile that she radiates warmth and kindness. She cares for her young daughter and is a member of her local Biggleswade Parents Together group. She now volunteers to help the support worker at another of our parents’ group.
I try to live by the quote: a stranger somewhere remembers you because you were kind to them. Even little silly things like a smile or friendly word can be that kindness that makes all the difference. I love my job as a health care assistant in the community – it means I can put this into practice even at work.
I’m glad to be able to take that further by giving my time as a volunteer. Volunteering with this parents’ group is a perfect fit. I know how valuable it’s going to be to lots of people caring for a child with additional needs. The group I go to as a parent has helped me so much. It’s hard to explain the impact it has had on my life, especially relationships with family and friends. You don’t feel alone anymore, you know you’re all going through something even though you don’t necessarily spell it all out. We’ve cried, laughed and been angry together. It means I haven’t loaded it all on my husband or mum. The Whatsapp group helps me get through the day.
So, I’ll be helping the support worker with this other parents’ group. My role is to meet and greet, listen and do some running around for her. I know how busy and stressful it can be to look after a lot of people in a group.
I’m also taking charge of some Carers in Bedfordshire collecting tins in my local area. It’s one way of getting the word out about support for carers – it was a couple of years before I heard about CiB. I’ve chatted to my local off-licence about my caring situation and they are happy to have one of the tins. Word of mouth always works well.