Paul (right) talking about taking part in Working for Carers
Paul, aged 55, has lived in London with his partner Joseph since 1993. Both had had successful careers with Joseph working in graphic design and Paul freelancing in the arts and media industry.
But in 2008, Joseph’s mother died suddenly. Over the next three years Joseph struggled to come to terms with his mother’s death. And in 2012 Joseph was sectioned before being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and anxiety.
Paul had no choice but to give up his job to care full-time for Joseph. Over the next few years they were both able to go back to work part-time, but periods of relative stability would always be followed by difficult times for both of them.
How did Working for Carers help?
For years, Paul didn’t see himself as Joseph’s carer but in 2013 he started going to carer support groups. And in 2018, he joined the Working for Carers project at Harrow Carers.
His employment personal adviser started by helping Paul figure out what direction he wanted his career to take and to rediscover his enthusiasm, confidence and passion for the creative industry.
In one-to-one sessions his adviser helped Paul to update his CV and showed him how to deal with gaps caused by his caring role. Working for Carers also paid for Paul to attend a workshop led by a top creative agent which helped restore his confidence.
What was the result?
After attending a business workshop organised by Working for Carers, Paul decided to focus on setting up his own business. He is currently being supported with writing a business plan and grant application.
Paul also now understands just how important it is to look after himself.
I’m starting to dream again. I thought my drive had been extinguished, but the embers were still there. They just needed to be reignited and that’s what Working for Carers have helped me to do .”
Find out more about the free Working for Carers service in London and how it can support carers.
Although we have used a real photo of Paul, his name has been changed in the interest of privacy.