Last year I interviewed beneficiaries of the charity Arthritis Care as part of a big story-gathering project with Mile 91. I wrote this blog for Mile 91’s website.
I’d always thought I was well acquainted with arthritis, as both my sister and my mum live with pretty nasty forms of it.
But it wasn’t until I interviewed others with the disease – people I didn’t know – for the charity Arthritis Care that I really started to grasp what it’s like for my mum and sister.
It sounds like I have a distant, dutiful-phone-calls-three-times-a-year type relationship with my family, right? Actually, the opposite is true – we speak every day. If anything we care too much, regularly working ourselves into irrational frenzies of worry about each other. It’s exhausting!
Last month I spent a lovely day’s story-gathering with residents and staff from Hill House, a Leonard Cheshire Disability home near Crewe.
Until recently, Hill House had transport problems. It had just two small vans, both vital for getting everyone out and about on day-trips to shopping centres, stately homes and the seaside. But if medical appointments came up, they had to take priority. With no vans available, the painstakingly-planned day-trips would be cancelled at the last minute. “That used to upset us, as we felt we were letting the residents down,” said Lynn, who coordinates the day-trips.
Not any more! Hill House recently got funding for a new vehicle – a spacious, specially adapted Mercedes van. Leonard Cheshire Disability’s fundraising team asked me to help them show the enormous difference this van has been making to everyone at Hill House.