Prepare to Care Christine’s Experience

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My name is Christine Webb and I was introduced to Prepare to Care by my ESA Advisor as I am slowly recovering from the bereavement of my late partner Christopher.  As a former carer, my life changed dramatically on his diagnosis of Lymphatic Cancer in December 2009.  My environment became very small, as the outside world disappeared. My daily routine was caring for Christopher on a 24 hour basis whilst also raising 5 children, 2 teenage daughters whom were still living at home and my youngest son aged just 11.  Personally, my hardest problem was getting to the hospital to visit Christopher, as having no support to travel by car, the total visit and journey by bus would take me 8 hours a day.  This was a physical and emotional challenge for my whole family and I felt personally pulled, as I needed to care for my partner and youngest child simultaneously. Taking part in the training, has helped me realise that I had rights back then which I was not aware of and how, for every carer that provides care, how important it is to know about those rights and to realise, that others are going through the same experiences.  Since meeting other learners and carers on the training and sharing our stories and concerns, this has helped me process my experience as a carer. I feel more informed since completing the course and will use this empowerment, to help inform other carers in my community and let them know they are not alone. I feel so encouraged to stand here today and proud, that I have been able to go back to learning, after all I have been through.  I would like to dedicate my Prepare to Care achievement to my late partner Christopher Hutchings and all those that care unconditionally and go through bereavement(Christine Webb)