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Sunday, 23 February 2014

Caring, Harping, Strategies & ATOS...

Hi guys, after all the rushing about last week, it's been so quiet here the last few days!

Coo's been poorly again so we've been mostly at home and after all the busy-ness of last week that's probably not a bad thing and it's given me time to catch my breath, regroup and chill for a bit! I did manage to get out to my wee Carer meeting on Monday though!
 Looby came to keep Coo company and I headed out for a wee chat and a cuppa with my 3 Towns Carers.
It's always good to spend time with other Carers no matter how tired you are!
It gives me a wee bit of a boost being with others who know how it really is, they don't judge but they do offer solutions and a bit of laugh along the way too!

While I've been home, I've taken some time out harping!
I tend to reach for my harp when I'm feeling a bit tired or even a bit over-whelmed and need a wee boost and it usually does the trick!
I  love music and I think it's therapeutic but who knows, all I can say is...it sure works for me!

Carers Advisory Group...

I'm busy with a new group later this week.
It's with my Local Authority, NHS and other partners and I agreed to be part of this one as their Carer Strategy is a good one and I really feel having experienced Carers involved from the off, is the best way to ensure everything offered in the new Strategy is actually delivered!

ATOS...

With Coo being poorly, sadly, I didn't make it up to Glasgow this week for the latest Demo. against ATOS Healthcare.
This company has cost us (and many other families with disabilities!) many a sleepless night! We stressed majorly over their fiasco surrounding Coo's on and off need to travel for assessment with them. One minute he was to go and another it was not necessary, they just couldn't make their mind up. In the end it got sorted but not without a lot of stress, worry and anxiety and those are words this company seems to generate on a national scale!
I've met news that ATOS want an early exit from their  DWP work capability assessments contract, with mixed emotions. 
Who knows, maybe another company will do better but let's be clear ATOS are not the only ones to blame for this fiasco - DWP's flawed policy is the real villain of the piece and I'm afraid that battle is very far from over!

We live to fight another day!
Stay strong my friends,
(((hugs)))
Maz x

Friday, 14 February 2014

COSLA first then GoMA fun...

Hi guys, it's been a busy few days!

I went to COSLA with the others to do a presentation and a question and answer session on CareNA . Thankfully it all went great so fingers crossed we win that Gold Award...and we should as the CareNA website is a brilliant resource for Carers and Service-users, I'm so pleased with how it all turned out!

Once all the work stuff was over, it was time for a wee respite break with Coo so....GoMA  (Gallery of Modern Art) Glasgow, here we come!

We decided not to rush, take our time getting up to the city. We'd chosen to go on Thursday, the GoMA is quieter then and it's late opening night too - no pressure and no need to rush!
We checked into a wee place in the city centre around lunchtime, grabbed a quick bit to eat and hit the Gallery - Wow! What a place!

It's really a kinda crazy-cool place and it's totally brilliant too - we loved it!


From the wonderful twinkly lights all around this building to the unusual and thought provoking exhibits it holds, this sure is one classy place to visit - we had  an awesome time!

Highlight for me...
There's a brilliant selection of  Niki de Saint-Phalle artworks.

Her Arts kinda funky and colourful and right up my street. I don't think Coo was as impressed but I loved them all!
Here I am enjoying them - maybe a little too much! lol


It was a lovely wee time-out for us both! I'm so very grateful for the SDS (Self Directed Support), funding that makes wee breaks like this one happen!
A few days away, a wee bit of culture and a wee time out, sure make everything that little bit easier.

We're back home and happy!
Don't stress about SDS when it comes your way, as it surely will! Think about the possibilities - it's brought lot's of new opportunities and support our way that's for sure!
Happy days!
(((hugs)))
Maz x

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

A really busy week, awards and awards...

Hi guys, what a busy-bumble-bee-week I've had!

Award 1...

I got filmed today in support of CareNA
Do you remember I posted about a new community portal I'd been working on with my Local Authority? There's details here...

It's up for an award and a COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) award at that!

I'm really pleased CareNA has been highlighted as it's a great resource, especially for Carers! It's really a-one-stop-information-shop with all the information you need, from Personalisation, SDS (Self Directed Support) and help in a crisis, to community groups and events in our area!

CareNA is already making life that wee bit easier for our local Carers and I'm so happy I had the chance to help shape this vital community resource!

Award 2 - The Provost Civic Awards...
I blogged here about my wee 3 Towns Carer Group being nominated for the Provost Civic Awards, we're nominated in the Community Group section and I have news - we're in the final!

The 3 Towns Carers are a wee band of local Carers who manage to support one another and navigate a way through the minefield that is caring. The key strength really, is the support and love freely shared with one another through all the stages caring brings.
From the shell-shock at the beginning, when everything's raw and new, through all the trials and triumphs of finding services and support, to the sadness and trauma when caring comes to an end.
We are just there for one another.
It truly is a real caring family!

I guess you could say...it's been a busy and successful week!
 My granny always said it's a good life if you don't weary so  here's to not wearying!
Keep strong guys,
(((hugs)))
Maz x