This time it was the turn of The Place to Eat restaurant of John Lewis Welwyn to present a cheque for £1,020. Development and Fundraising Manager Linda Cudmore, pictured left with John Lewis Partner Corinne Cutler from Customer Support, received the donation from Val Fowler, Community Liaison Coordinator.
Corinne cares for her mother who is 90 and was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia earlier this year. She juggles her caring role with her role in Customer Support at John Lewis Welwyn and lives in Welwyn Garden City.
She said: “I did not plan for this. I was on holiday and had to come home early as mum was ill and in hospital. Caring is not consistent: mum can be her normal self and then more like a two-year-old child. It’s frustrating, I’m never free from caring and I now feel like I’m the mother. It’s so isolating and hard as no one else is around to help. I can’t ever relax or be spontaneous and just go away. I don’t even get any respite as mum won’t go to a day centre.
"I didn’t know what support I needed as until I found out about Carers in Hertfordshire I didn’t know what was out there. Thankfully John Lewis has been very supportive. They gave me time off to settle when mum was first diagnosed and flexible hours so that I can visit my mum before coming to work.”
Val said: "There are more Partners/employees here at John Lewis caring for loved ones, they just don't recognise themselves as carers as they're caring for family members, and therefore it just becomes their norm. It wasn't until I heard Corinne's story first hand that I could see that to be true, and you would never guess this about Corinne, or others, as they pull out all the stops to ensure their work life doesn't suffer.
"Having Carers in Herts as a chosen Community Matters charity hasn't just supported the cause, it's educated us all about the carers who work with us, and therefore paints a picture of just how much they are juggling outside of work too."
Read more about how John Lewis and Waitrose are continuing to support carers through its Community Matters scheme and the amount of money raised so far. For more information on how your company can help support unpaid carers through fundraising and volunteering click here.