George said: “It all really started when our David was born.”Very little was done then for people with learning difficulties – there wasn’t education for children really.” Brenda, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and David are cared for by George, as well as another carer who comes in to help.
George said: “I make breakfast for us, then I go out for visits for Healthwatch. I go to care homes and see how they’re organised.”Chesterfield-born, George worked in the pits in the town from 1950, until 1968, and was a union rep at the same time. He said: “I went on to do a course in industrial relations but changed on to a social work course, and then a teacher training course for adults with learning difficulties.”George finished college and went on to run a factory training course, before moving to Long Eaton in 1978. George said: “When I moved to Long Eaton I managed a day service for adults with learning difficulties. It was a 200-place centre, and we had 50 staff.”
George retired at the age of 58, and has since been spending his time working with carers groups, as well as caring for his family.
He said: “Our David is severely disabled, he can’t talk, needs help with daily life.”He communicates with body language, and he goes to a day centre during the day.”
In 2012, George set up The Learning Disability Carers Group, and in 2013 the group launched a national helpline. He was nominated by Pam Gill, who works with George in the carers group that he chairs. Pam, from Melbourne, said: “George is a devoted and able carer, who holds imaginative and realistic ideas about how the lives of people with learning difficulties and their families can be improved.”George gives talks to carers about his caring role and how systems could better meet the needs of carers and those they care for, to live more fulfilled lives and he does this with such passion.”He is the original ‘expert by experience’, and is highly regarded among the city and county adult care managers.”