“No one had ever recognised her as a carer before,” – David Trumper shares his family’s experience at the Annual General Meeting
On Saturday, October 11, staff and carers gathered at Fry’s Conference Centre to reflect and celebrate the Carers’ Centre’s work in supporting 3,500 carers in 2013-14.
Thanks to the tireless work of our staff and volunteers, we have been able to significantly increase the number of carers we support and empower locally. The telephone support team has provided a listening ear to more than 1,500 people in need, we’ve enabled over 500 people to take a break from their responsibilities, and connected with more than 400 young carers.
2013-14 also saw a massive 15,200 miles driven to deliver carers to breaks and appointments.
The AGM was also the last day for our Chief Executive Sonia Hutchison, before she departed for her six month sabbatical in the United States. She handed over the reins to David Trumper, now Acting Chief Executive, who told the room of his mother’s experience as a carer and how that shaped him and his experiences with carers today.
“[My Mother Sylvia’s] story best shapes my experience and understanding of what it means to be a carer. At the age of 13, her mum (my gran) was taken seriously ill and my Mum’s life-time role as carer began.
By her 40s my mum was juggling raising three sons – two of them ‘deaf and disruptive’ – running three homes – caring for both sets of poorly parents – being a wife and holding down part-time cleaning jobs to make ends meet. Not to mention caring for husband who needed heart surgery.
In the final few months of my gran’s life my mum was finally assigned a social worker. A revelation! No one had ever recognised her as a carer before. Not even us - her family. My gran went into a nursing home and for those final few months, my mum became a daughter – and not her carer – for the first time in over 50 years.
When my Gran died, suddenly my mum’s life-long role of carer was over, overnight. It was hard to find she suddenly had her own life to lead. But she did – and that I find inspiring.
[I]f the past three and a half years that the carers’ centre has taught me anything, it’s that my mum’s story is in no way unique. There are millions of people across the UK – thousands across B&NES – who will have got up this morning and will be busy juggling caring for those they love.
I am determined that we will listen and tell your stories, so people – like my mum – feel recognised, valued, supported and benefit from a permanent Carers’ Centre.”
- David Trumper, Acting Chief Executive
Good luck to David and the team as they work to provide support and advice to even more carers this year. You can download your copy of the Annual review here to see the full scope of the work undertaken by Carers' Centre in 2013-14.