An exploration of the UK unpaid carer's world


Apologies are due for adding to the G24 workload through my own inattention and lack of consideration of parking charges prevailing on my visit to Wickes of Hereford on 14 April.  On exit there from, I carried out several missions connected to a role described later. 


On return to the scene a few days ago, I would say, in mitigation, that the notices are rather small.  I shop at Wickes less frequently than similar outlets which do not present such regulations.


My first reaction on receiving the letter was that £100 for thirty three minutes excess time is outlandish.  I later realised the Wickes proximity to the town centre would lead to office and shop workers wanting to park in which cases, hefty fines are justified.


At the age later this month of 75, it has been many years since I might have been tempted re the last paragraph.  Such advanced years can lead to inattention and lack of consideration of many things including parking charges, as we all recognise.


I am interested in how many G24 and Wickes staff are also carers for a family member and if either or both firms make allowance for the stress arising from the role.  Many firms do.


Since 2000, I have been unpaid/informal carer to my wife.  Ovarian cancer was dealt with then and a component of chemotherapy affected the bones in her feet.  Her mobility has worsened over the years since and two years ago, a hip socket failed.  It is inoperable due to her heart condition.  She is 100% dependent on a large, powered wheelchair and my constant attention.


On top of all that, my wife was diagnosed with dementia in 2014.  Needless to say, my stress levels have been building up since 2000. The dementia is something else demanding my constant attention.


As an unpaid/informal carer of long standing, I have a lot of experience.  I am conducting research into public/non-carer understanding of the role.  Para 5 refers in the present context.

Formal carer provison is supposed to include respite.  I use a lot of my respite for general shopping, specialised shopping as in Wickes, and following up numerous attempts to acquire proper care provision for my wife.  


The crux of my appeal is that there was no intention to avoid parking charges, the information is not prominent, my age hasn’t helped the situation and the stress within my carer role exacerbates old-age related problems.  The missions (para 1) connected to the role included an ongoing battle for proper care provision for my wife.  My research demonstrates that such battles are faced by most carers.


Your sympathy and understanding will make the purchase of yet more mobility-related items much easier and will be much appreciated.


With best wishes.