Both Linda’s parents worked in print, and Linda’s first job after leaving school was also in the print industry. As well as being a WW2 RAF veteran, her father had an impressive print history, having worked for 40 years at Monotype Corporation, rising through the organisation from a role in accounts to managing the company’s exports. Her mother also worked there for a decade as a typist. Linda recalls Monotype very fondly: “We had a great time as children of workers there. I remember Christmas parties and sports days, it was a very family-focussed business.”
Taking care of dad
Linda first approached the Printing Charity for help when her father, who had suffered a stroke, was moved from a nursing home into her home, as per his wishes. Linda became his full-time carer, with personal carers also visiting the house. The charity provided Linda with financial support so she did not have to worry about day-to-day costs, and was able to ensure that the last year of her father’s life was the best it could be. Linda fondly recalls their outings together: “I had a wheelchair-adapted car and we were able to go out somewhere every day.”
Long-term financial support
When Linda contacted the charity to explain that her father had sadly passed away, she was astonished to hear that the financial support she had been receiving would continue.
“I can’t say how much it meant to me to hear that the money is for me,” Linda explains. “It was not just the relief from the financial burden, I also gained comfort from knowing that my father would be reassured by the help I was receiving as a result of his life’s work in print.
“I suddenly felt that, as a carer for family members over the years – my mother and my aunt, before my dad – my work was valued, and I can hold my head up and say that, through it all, I did have a skilful ‘proper’ job.
“I knew that my dad would have been proud, so I was proud, too. I don’t have a private pension, and with the huge increase in the cost of living I have a very low income, so the top up from the Printing Charity means I don’t have to worry so much about how I am going to manage.”
The contributions from the charity mean that Linda can stay connected socially, keeping her car and remaining in her home. “The money helps to remove a worry, and life is not so lonely for me. My mental health is much better as a result.”
It’s worth reaching out
“If anyone with a family or personal connection to print finds themselves a carer – and more often than not this happens by chance, not by choice – please take the plunge and contact the Printing Charity,” Linda urges. “It’s the hardest thing to ask for financial help – I was heartbroken, exhausted and desperate to honour my father who had always been my rock, so for me it was a lifeline to reach out. Help is out there, but if you don’t ask, you won’t know.”
“I was also feeling inadequate when I contacted the charity, but because of the help they gave me I came to realise that my caring work had been important, not just to me and dad, but recognised by others. The Printing Charity’s support gave me much more than money.”
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