A new collection of poetry and short stories reveals the highs and lows of caring for a loved one as charity Carers UK publishes an anthology largely written by carers and former carers on the theme of ‘family, friends and carers’.
The charity, set up to achieve greater recognition and support for those caring unpaid for older, disabled or ill loved ones publishes the new collection in its 50th anniversary year following a creative writing competition, held in collaboration with the Poetry Society.
There were over 300 entries from established writers and people who were expressing their experiences of caring for a loved one for the first time. The competition was judged by Cheryl Moskowitz, an award winning poet and creative writing tutor who also has personal experience of caring.
Carers UK’s Chief Executive, Heléna Herklots said:
“All of us, at some point in our lives, will care for a loved one, or need that care ourselves. Caring is a near universal experience, and part of what makes us human, yet too often the experience of caring is hidden away, behind closed doors, a private issue. These poems and stories tell us about the joys that can be experienced, the learning that comes with caring, and the way it changes us. It also shows the resilience and courage that can be required.
We were delighted that so many people took part. The competition has enabled us to reach out to carers and others who we were not previously in touch with us and who may have been unaware of the support that Carers UK provides.”
The cover image for the book was designed by former carer Daphne Sanderson. Daphne has been caring for 38 years, and produced the design around 40 years ago, shortly before she had to give up her career as a textile designer to look after her husband.
Carers UK was founded 50 years ago by the Reverend Mary Webster, who had given up work to care for her elderly parents, and sought to bring what had until then been a private issue into the public domain. Mary spoke of being ‘under house arrest’ because of her caring responsibilities and her campaigning work started the carers movement, combining greater political awareness and action with support for carers. Fifty years later the charity continues to campaign, to provide advice and support, and to seek and achieve greater understanding and awareness of caring, and more practical and financial help.
Carers UK will be running the creative writing competition again during the summer of 2015. The theme for this year’s competition will be ‘Isolation and Togetherness’.
We are running a feature in conjunction with Carer’s Week- you can see in the June/July issue of Pos’Ability magazine.