Day 6:  All age living: Never too old or too young to care

Sheffield to Bakewell

Today was pitched as a gentle day - just 20 miles but we are in the middle of a heat wave and so the temperatures remain high long into the evening when we generally expect cooler times. 

However there is something very wonderful about zipping up and down hills with such views all around - it feels a tremendous privilege and opportunity to see the country at a different pace and from a different perspective.  

Robert our intrepid 79 year old who managed the hills comfortably along with our four teens is not with us today but we have Judith and Anne and Perry in their 70's. 

This evening we were invited to share the reasons for the ride with Quakers from Bakewell and they in turn shared some stories of the people they were supporting in local foodbanks. 

One elderly Quaker shared that a woman in the foodbank had been brought to tears to learn that someone had picked up the concern for people like herself.    Another, an asylum seeker who had had no money at all for over 12 weeks was too frightened to put his name on the card.  Another a lady caring for her disabled husband had spoken of his having had his benefits cut and that they now had just £2 in the bank even though she was working as a care support assistant herself.   She had no idea how the billls would be paid

The cards are increasing and we are thinking together about how to make sure these often invisible stories are best shared as we go forward.   

It is interesting to me that one key human need that must be addressed to feel a sense of wellbeing is that of contributing to the care of others.  Contributing to the care of others is a need but being successful at caring for others is also a skill set.  It involves many small details - notably that of understanding what others might like and enjoy, that of being able to problem solve in groups to make things happen and to overcome obstacles.  These are all skills that many of our most vulnerable children fail to acquire - because the need to be cared for first is overlooked - yet when these needs are overlooked, they also become those adults who are most challenging and expensive to care for.


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