Glamorgan Voluntary Services helps Bryn go cycling for the first time since 1961

“My name is Bryn. I’m 86 years old and I live in Barry, and I’m a carer for my daughter. I got involved in the Glamorgan Voluntary Services’ Connected Carers project after being invited by the Parents Federation to go along to one of their breakfast groups, and I enjoy people’s company and meeting people, and that was enough for me to get involved more.

The first thing I got from that meeting was finding out what else was going on with the project, like going cycling with Pedal Power in Cardiff and going for walks. The first time I’d ridden a bike at that sessions was a bit wobbly, but I enjoyed it. I haven’t ridden a bike since I left in Swansea in 1961, when I used to ride that bike to work. Even after not riding for so long my legs didn’t ache or anything like that. I had a bit of a sore hand afterwards from leaning on it so the next time I went I had a bike that was like lying down and pedalling from that.

The project has reintroduced me to riding a bike, and thanks to the project as well it’s got me back into swimming too, and again I can’t think when I last went swimming.

Through the Pedal Power project I also reunited with my friend Gerald, whose daughter started school at the same time as my daughter. I hadn’t seen him in 10 years, and it was really nice to see him and have a chat and catch-up.

Getting involved in the Connected Carers project has also helped me with my IT skills. All I’d ever really used a computer for before was doing a bit of stuff on Word or Excel, or checking the weather and news but going to the Vale Digital Champions sessions in Aberaeron Close Hub has really opened up my eyes to new opportunities to using a computer. They’ve shown me how to use different things on a computer that I wasn’t even aware of before. One of the exercises I was given was to book a train fare and hotel in London, things like that which I would never have dreamt of doing, and now I go to those sessions every week.

This project has been really good for me. I’ve spoken to a lot of other carers because of this project, and it’s helped me get out and about a bit more, to receive support from other people, and also to be supportive to other carers that are involved in the project.

I’d really recommend other carers in the area to get involved in this project if you want to meet similar people, it’s been really good for me and it’s been really good to get together with people in the same situation as you.”

Bryn is one of 500 people being supported through the Glamorgan Voluntary Services Connected Carers project. They were awarded £257,702 thanks to National Lottery players to support family carers of people with lifelong or life limiting conditions, in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, to participate in social networking, training, respite and self-development.

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