Carers are used to putting on a brave face

Carers are used to putting on a brave face

Every government form, every unkind remark, every time a service is taken away – it hurts. I lost six months of my life to depression. I was on autopilot.

Dave's story

Dave's story

Dave is a single dad to two beautiful girls, he's a 24/7 carer, and a support worker in a special needs school. In other words, Dave is an everyday hero. He’s the kind of hero who doesn’t have a cape, a hero who goes unnoticed, a hero who pushes himself to the limit every day.

Dave’s eldest daughter has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. Dave’s face lights up when he talks about Emily, 19. “When I get up in the morning and she gives me her big smile, or wants a cuddle, it’s those moments that give me strength,” he says.

An exhausting routine

Dave is there for Emily around the clock. He helps her eat, wash, get changed, go to bed, and get up in the morning. It’s an exhausting routine. "My back, my knees... I'm in constant pain from lifting Emily," he says.

Then there’s the emotional strain that caring brings: isolation, loneliness, exhaustion. “Every government form, every unkind remark, every time a service is taken away – it hurts,” he says. “I lost six months of my life to depression. I was on autopilot.”

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We were there

When Dave was at his lowest, we were there. We have been for years. He first came to Carers Gloucestershire when Emily was three. Since then, we’ve supported the family in practical ways: helping Dave claim benefits, find the right education for Emily, sort out respite care, and deal with issues like incontinence.

This year, our volunteer therapists supported Dave through depression. “I just wish I could wave a magic wand, so every carer who needs counselling could get it,” he says. “It’s been life-changing.”

Being a carer is exhausting, mind-blowing and lonely... but I wouldn’t change it for the world!

I just wish I could wave a magic wand, so every carer who needs counselling could get it. It’s been life-changing.

Like to help us support more carers like Dave? Please visit our fundraising pages for ideas. 

Or if you are a carer who would like support, please visit our support pages.