This week we started our mini tour of Cambridgeshire with The Carers Trust Cambridge, Peterborough and Norfolk (CTCPN) by delivering a wellbeing talk to a lovely group of carers. They gather once a month to spend some quality time with follow carers and to have a safe place to visit with the loved one they care for. During their visit they have access to an array of advice and support courtesy of Rebecca Browne and her lovely team at The Carers Trust and enjoy the connection they have with their peers.
It struck me that they have more than just caring in common. They all demonstrated compassion – for one another and their loved ones.
They commit their every day to caring for someone they love and who can no longer care for themselves. Many face mental as well as physical fatigue, every day.
When people hear the word compassion, they tend to think of kindness. But scientific study has found the core of compassion to be courage.
Kindness doesn’t define compassion but it is one way of being compassionate.
What, then, is the definition of compassion?
According to Dictionary.com it’s along the lines of ‘a sensitivity to suffering in self and others with a commitment to try to alleviate it.’
And it’s this wonderful quality that all the carers on Tuesday have in common. Some looked tired, some looked worried, others were chatty whilst some were quiet and thoughtful. I wonder if they all realised just how special their commitment to their loved one is? None of them appreciated the economic value of their contribution, which for carers nationally is £132 billion.
It was humbling to share an hour or two with them and to give some advice about enhancing their wellbeing. Furthermore, some might visit Kingham Cottage for a break with us – which would delight us!
The Carers Trust is a wonderful organisation making a huge difference to so many people’s lives. Their courage and compassion is illustrated in abundance. I commend them for this and feel privileged to share the ‘stage’ with them in Cambridge.