Aileen is certain that she wouldn’t still be working today and would be facing a life on benefits for her and her family if she hadn’t been able to use the Charity’s Carer’s Passport.
The first time she applied for a Passport was to help her care for her father. Two days after her mother’s funeral, Aileen’s father was in hospital having an operation to treat bowel cancer. For the next three years Aileen cared for her father through operations, hospital appointments and memory loss until he sadly also passed away.
Throughout this time Aileen was able to use the flexible hour’s system at her job in HMRC to help her be on hand whenever she was needed. It was, however, her Carer’s Passport that helped to ease the stress during a tough period.
Aileen said: “My manager at the time told me about the Passport. She said it helps me and it will help you. I was able to be really flexible and didn’t have to explain each time I had to do something like take my dad into hospital.”
Aileen was just getting her life back on track after the death of her father when her husband had a stroke. Once again Aileen found herself in a caring role as his medical needs increased.
So she reapplied for a Carer’s Passport, which is helping her to juggle her responsibilities at home as well as continuing to do a good job at work. Aileen attributes the fact that she is also able to continue to build her skills at work and progress in her career to the difference the Passport has made and the support her colleagues give her.
“If I didn’t have the Passport in place I don’t think I would be working at the moment. I would have had to leave and that would have put me on benefit. I wouldn’t be able to be this flexible elsewhere. My team have been so understanding regarding not holding me back and there is still some career progression possible. I feel supported and encouraged.”
Aileen also believes it is important to give back to the Charity and has paid in monthly donations since she first received assistance to buy a washing machine over fifteen years ago. At the time following the break-up of her marriage and living alone with three young children Aileen was thankful both for the monetary as well as the emotional support she felt the Charity provided.