Caroline and Brendan’s story Caroline, 52, worked as a home carer in social services for 12 years. She and her husband, Brendan, suffer with multiple complex conditions and have found it very difficult in recent years during which time they were made homeless and had to battle cancer. Due to surgery, Brendan has lost a lot of his mobility and spends most days lying in bed listening to the radio. Before the cancer, Brendan was an accomplished writer. Unfortunately, due to his complex needs he is now unable to use a pen and paper and struggles with new technology. Caroline approached The Care Workers Charity (CWC) to see if we could support them by providing Brendan with the means to continue his creative writing. It was important to Brendan to use his passion to not only improve his quality of life, but earn some money rather than having to rely on benefits. We were delighted to help them with a new laptop suitable for his needs and a creative writing course to clear away the cobwebs and get him back on track with his writing. How did you get involved with The Care Workers Charity? “I was looking for some financial support to enable my disabled husband to pick up on his previous studies and hobby of creative writing. I came across the Care Workers Charity while searching online.” What were your first impressions and how did you feel when you first engaged with the charity? “From day one, I felt that our application was being considered sympathetically. There were some changes within the charity going on at the time but we were kept in regular contact.” Has your life improved and do you feel you have got to a better place by receiving support? “Life is definitely improving. My husband is spending more time following his writing. Before he was given the equipment, he had so very little to occupy his time. Days, for him, were long and dull. He is now thinking forward more. It’s still early days but I have noticed an improvement in his mental health even in this short time.” Where would you be if you hadn’t received the support? “If I had not accessed the service nothing would have changed as we simply do not have the funds available to cover the equipment needed. As anyone in straitened circumstances will understand, lack of funds is a huge obstacle.” Where do you see yourself in the future? “I see myself as a lady of leisure reclining on a sun lounger next to the pool in the garden! Well, being married to a very successful author would enable us to have a life free of stress and worry. Seriously, we will be in a better position even if his writing is not as financially rewarding as we hope it will become. If all that we achieve is for my husband to be able to spend his time writing then our lives will be improved.” What advice would you give to someone who was looking for similar support? “Go for it. If you don’t ask then you definitely don’t get and it never hurts to ask. The worst that will happen is they will say no. It has taken a while for us to be able to ask – pride gets in the way and I think there is a negative feeling towards a person who cannot help themselves. Half the battle is having the courage to ask for help and, I promise, I have never felt anything other than support, compassion and kindness.” Is there anything else you would like to say? “Saying thank you is not enough. It doesn’t feel ’big enough‘ to convey what we actually feel. We have been overwhelmed by the kindness shown to us. When you are disabled and not working you feel as though you have slipped into obscurity, as if you have become invisible. Now we know we are seen, we matter and that is priceless.” We cannot wait to hear how Brendan’s writing progresses, and have even asked him if he would do some writing for The Care Workers Charity in the future…. if we can afford him!