The army of visiting carers deserve our gratitude

PUBLISHED: 08:30 25 March 2020

East Devon Honorary Alderman  Mark Williamson. Picture: Mark Williamson

East Devon Honorary Alderman Mark Williamson. Picture: Mark Williamson

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East Devon Honorary Alderman Mark Williamson salutes all those carers who are there for us, day and night, today and tomorrow.

With 10 per cent of Exmothians over 75, carers should be recognised for their essential role in the community whether they work in our nursing and care homes or work for an agency.

They deserve our gratitude.

Before Covid-19 put my wife’s nursing home into lockdown, I was walking back after my daily visit.

I noticed a small car parked on double yellow lines.

A thought came into my head – not the usual reaction – and I looked through the window.

There on the dashboard was a parking permit issued by Devon County Council to one of the local care agencies.

Nearby would be a carer preparing a meal, giving a bed bath, changing soiled clothing, offering support with kindness.

When I retired from Exmouth Town Council and East Devon District Council after 12 busy years last May, I looked back on what I thought I’d achieved – if anything!

The reinstatement of a café at Orcombe Point gave me – and its many users – much pleasure.

When I see the saplings now well established along ‘The Avenues’ I’m happy the town council supported the local community to replace the many trees that had been lost.

However, what will stay with me forever was working with the town council to lobby Devon County Council to introduce a permit system to allow carers to park in safe but otherwise restricted places while undertaking essential tasks for the disabled and elderly.

It started with a call from an elderly lady.

The young carer for her disabled husband had received two penalty notices in three months despite parking safely and there being nowhere else available.

Parking stress was the last thing carers needed given the short duration of some visits.

At this time of national emergency, I salute that unseen army of visiting carers who are there today and will be there tomorrow.

One day we might need them ourselves.


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