Monthly Archives: March 2011

Without respite carers would get no social life

How health cuts affect the sick, the disabled, war veterans, carers, the elderly and people with mental health problems
by David Lea, Daily Mirror 11/03/2011

DEREK Hamer, 47, and his wife Susan, 45, are full-time carers for their disabled 16-year-old son Matthew.

Matthew has severe delayed global development and spends his time at home in Preston, Lancs.

For our disabled daughter, a way out of the labyrinth


Gove promises some relief for the parents of severely disabled children. But others may have reason to worry



Michael Gove at the Scottish Conservatives’ Conference in Perth last year. His green paper on disability services reform was launched a few months later.

Nothing prepares you for the birth of a child with profound and multiple disabilities. There is the shock, the depression, the grieving for the child you thought you had given birth to alongside the crushing realisation that all the old certainties in your life are no more.

Gradually you adjust, driven forward by love for your offspring. Then comes the awful discovery that the most traumatic part of your new life is not caring for your child but the battle to find a way through the maze of services supposedly set up to help them. Ask any parent of a disabled child – this is what makes daily life such a despairing trial.


Kerry reading her poem to an appreciative audience at the
Fife Carers Week 2009 event.



Nobody sees a carer, nobody sees a spy,
We’re an invisible band of workers-have you ever asked yourself why?
While James Bond struts about the place in a dashing dinner suit,
Most carers struggle to recollect the last day that they had oot!
He’s fortified by gadgets supplied by the amazing Q,
We’re lonely and under-funded, always needing an extra (Money)penny or two!
We’re always on the go, we rarely get time to relax,
If we were like James Bond, we could escape on big jet packs!
His life is full of glamour. He loves to sip on champers.
Our lives are filled with duty and dirty laundry hampers!
We have no job description, we have no stated hours,
Oh! to be a spy and have some super powers,
To flee our caring duties, to go out and meet a pal.
I’d settle for a cafe – I don’t need Casino Royale!
Though we all love our families and live to show our care,
Sometimes it would be nice if someone else was there.
To give a little hand, to provide some great respite.
James Bond doesn’t need a befriender to let him out at night!
We’re standing in the shadows, we don’t wear any disguise.
We’re the UK’s REAL Secret Service!
We’re the carers, NOT the spies!