This time last year, Lorraine was diagnosed with terminal cancer. With her daughters by her side, she knew that she would be cared for until the very end.
One of Lorraine’s daughters, Melanie, lived three hours from the family home. When the family received the diagnosis, Melanie wanted to pack everything up and move closer to her mum. But with two teenage sons in school, bills to pay and a full-time job at the Ministry of Justice, it wasn’t that easy. This left Melanie driving hours into the night to help her sisters with their caring responsibilities.
“My mum wasn’t given long to live. I wanted to see her as much as possible but I couldn’t afford the six-hour round trip every other weekend. I had to face paying my bills or caring for someone I loved. I tried to juggle it all and kept telling myself I’m okay. When actually, I knew deep down that I wasn’t.”
Melanie had passed a table of leaflets in her office many times before but had never noticed one about the Charity before that particular day. When she saw the words “carers” on the front page, she decided to give us a call and find out more. After a supportive conversation with our team, we found that we were able to provide financial assistance to help relieve some of the pressure she under.
“It was six months of turmoil. You can never fully prepare yourself for this kind of thing. I didn’t expect the financial support from the Charity and it’s little acts of kindness like that, that pulled me through it.”
In addition to providing financial assistance to help Melanie juggle her busy lifestyle, we also provided her with a Carer’s Passport. This is a document we can provide carers and their line managers which highlights how the individual's responsibilities impact their work. When Melanie received hers, she no longer had to explain her personal situation in intricate detail within every new professional relationship.
“I shared the Passport with my manager. She was a regular donor herself, so she was pleased to know her money was helping people. Even though she knew about my mum, I now had a legitimate record of what I was dealing with.”
We also signposted Melanie to other relevant charities who could provide intricate information about her mum’s cancer diagnosis.
“My mum had lung cancer which then spread to her brain. That caused a few personality changes and that was really hard to deal with. You almost don’t want to research the condition because it can be scary. So being directed to authentic information about it was really useful.”
Six months later, Lorraine sadly passed away. Throughout that time, Melanie knew she had done all she could to be there for her. As a charity, we are glad to have supported Melanie in achieving that goal.
“The Charity helped me throughout my whole journey. The whole experience. I felt like someone was looking out for me.”
Although we no longer offer the Carer's Passport, we can still help you complete your Civil Service Carer's Passport. By using our Carer's Passport and Carer's Statement Digital Tool, you'll be able to reflect on your caring responsibilities before you have a conversation with your manager and complete your Civil Service Workplace Carer's Passport. The tool also provides holistic information, support and services for outside the workplace including our Carer's Statement.