Well the last few months through the lockdown have had its ups and downs for me and my husband. I had already been unable to go out of the house after having surgery so my lockdown started very early on in the year. When we were told by the government that I had to stay in to stay safe we were devastated, but like many others we made the best of it taking one day at a time. The first few weeks we tided all our cupboards out and watched a lot of TV.

We contacted Gateshead Carers Association in May of this year for help and support for my husband who cares for me. We were offered support over the phone as the team were all working from home by then due to Covid-19. Since then we have received frequent phone support from our Carer Wellbeing Facilitator and then my husband was offered the Carer Wellbeing Fund for something to help him to relax and maintain his mental health and wellbeing. We came to a decision that a water feature would be nice for the garden as we both sit there and relax and it was something we had always wanted. We felt very humbled when they gave us the grant of £200 to help make our lives better.  The warm weather came and to our delight the water feature has been lovely to sit next to and hear the trickle and it has brought us a great deal of pleasure while we are attending to our plants and sitting in the sunshine.

Once our garden was done we did not want to just sit and watch TV so my husband started to make bird boxes for ourselves, friends and neighbours. I thought about what I could do to keep me busy and my mind active. I started to think about making face masks so I researched how to make them and what was the best kind. I found several on the internet and downloaded the one I liked best. After using all the material I had at home I contacted a little shop in Birtley and a factory in Throckley and asked if they would like to donate material for me to make more masks. To my surprise they did donate loads of material which was very generous of them. I have now made many masks over the weeks and have been donating some to Fact (fighting all cancers together) and giving some to people in our local area. We still continue to make masks and bird boxes to this day.

We are glad that we get weekly telephone calls to make sure we are ok and if we need any help from our Carer Wellbeing Facilitator as this has been a strange time for us all. We have never met her just spoke to her on the phone but one day when this is over I am sure we will all meet face to face.

A Cared for person and their Carer