'Redbridge Carers Support Service helped me believe in myself again'
PUBLISHED: 12:00 25 December 2019
A mother who joined a project at Redbridge Carers Support Service after spending 10 difficult years caring for her husband with severe arthritis has urged anyone struggling this Christmas to reach out for help.
Tanya, 45, was at rock bottom when she joined the Working for Carers project at Redbridge Carers Support Service - she felt "isolated, stuck indoors and depressed that my life was going nowhere".
She had moved from Latvia 22 years ago and loved her new life with her 14-year-old son and husband, Alan, but Tanya's life changed dramatically in 2006 when Alan suddenly contracted severe arthritis.
"As Alan's condition worsened I had to give up my job, forcing us to sell our property overseas," she said. "As financial problems began to get worse, I could feel my mental health deteriorating," Tanya said.
By 2016 Tanya had been caring full-time for Alan for 10 years.
"I'd completely lost sight of myself and felt isolated after putting everything into caring for Alan," she said. "I'd come to the end of the road and felt as if I had nothing more to give."
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But then she heard about Working for Carers, a project that provides free support to unpaid carers to help them move back into work.
The workshop gave Tanya the skills and funding she needed to apply for jobs in the security industry.
"Working for Carers helped me believe in myself again, and taught me I can only going on caring for Alan if I learn to look after my own needs, too," she said.
"My advice for anyone who feels they can't rebuild their confidence and get back into work is to contact Working for Carers at their local carers' centre.
"It's the right project with the right people, and it has the right tools to help anyone who was struggling like I was."
Advisers work closely with carers to build their confidence so they can start to think about getting back to work.
The free service also offers one-to-one support, training opportunities and help with job searching.
To find out more about Working for Carers, including your nearest centre, visit: https://carers.org/workingforcarers