Stepping Out with Carers

On 26 September, a surprisingly sunny and warm day, a group of Year 13 TGS students accompanied by Mrs Blackstone, attended the 'Stepping Out with Carers' event in Penshurst Place. They were able to spend the day meeting a variety of people both acting as carers and those who are cared for. As well as providing valuable exercise, the walks give carers and their charges a couple of hours to get out and about, a great opportunity for a social exchange of stories and conversation; here’s three recounts of the day from some TGS students who attended:

“I really enjoyed myself at the stepping out walk as it gave me a valuable insight into the lives of those who suffer from diseases such as Dementia or Alzheimer’s as well as from those who care for people living with their conditions. At first, I was apprehensive with what to expect on my first walk with the group however after mingling with people I became aware it was just like my walk up to the station and the people I was meeting had lived such interesting and full lives that the hour and a half walk went past in a blur. The trip has helped me understand more about what to expect when dealing with people who need carers as well as increase my respect for the self-less people who help and guide people through their lives. “

“On the short walk, I spent a long time enjoying the interesting stories of the past such as the RAF, which highlighted the difference in generations. After spending time with the carers, I have learnt to be more considerate and caring to those around me as small acts of kindness can really help people out. Meeting people with aphasia and mobility issues demonstrated the effects on life when living with these illnesses. I learnt about the emotional struggles such as the loss of independence so activities like the walk help to gain a sense of it while enjoying captivating views, especially since many carers are stranded at home for long periods of time.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed my day at Penshurst Place, seeing the beautiful scenery and meeting some truly inspiring people. From the moment we arrived, I was introduced to lots of carers and the people they were caring for. It was amazing to hear the individual reasons as to why coming along to these walks was so important to them; for some it was to enjoy the countryside and to others it was to meet up with some newly found friends. I truly feel inspired by some of the people I met and have witnessed first-hand how different medical conditions can impact daily life. I am so grateful to have had the chance to meet so many different people and it has definitely been a highlight of my time at TGS so far.”

by Abigail, Daisy Ella, Morgan, Sian, Shivin

Stepping Out, is a pilot project unique to Kent. It is backed by Sport England. For more information: www.carerssteppingout.co.uk;