Carers Week is an annual campaign that aims to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face, and recognise the contributions they make to families and communities throughout the UK.
The theme of this year’s carers week is making caring visible and valued. There are over 6.5 million carers in the UK, we want to highlight the experiences of some of the carers who we work with. We chatted to them about their experience as a carer, whether they feel they get enough support and the difference bOunceT has made to them and their families’ life.
The next family we spoke to was Kris and Karen Procek. They have been heavily involved with bOunceT for a number of years now and we greatly appreciate them sharing their story!
How long have you been a carer?
The application of the label “carer” is a difficult concept. Firstly, I’m Rory’s mum which is the best job in the world, but I’m also one of two carers that provide intensive support to him due to the rare chromosome disorder he was born with. I have had the privilege of being Rory’s mum for nearly 10 years but I’m not sure when I started thinking of myself as being his carer as well.
How has being a carer impacted your life?
Being a carer is an all embracing, life challenging, energy zapping role that completely dominates all aspects of life. The planning, the pre-planning, the organisation and facilitation of every little detail in life just takes over and becomes our normal. As carers we live in a constant state of high alert which is utterly exhausting with little support or respite offered.
As a carer, do you feel that the support you receive is enough?
I don’t, no. Unfortunately I feel we exist in a broken system. No-one guides you as a parent along this completely new journey. You are left to try and figure things out along the way and if you are lucky you will find “your tribe” parents and carers in the same or similar situation as yourself. They are the ones who will guide and support you in terms of provision of services and support. Once you get the support it then feels as if it’s a battle to keep or defend it with constant changes and cuts to services.
Since coming to bOunceT, do you feel that our support has had a positive impact on you, and your families, health and wellbeing?
I feel that bounceT has been a service I don’t need to “battle ” with. Supportive and engaging staff support me as a parent/carer to give my son a fulfilling and enjoyable experience. Happy Rory = Happy Mummy.