‘My fa­ther’s helper made a big dif­fer­ence to his life’

Macclesfield Express - - EAST CHESHIRE HOSPICE -

EAST Cheshire Hos­pice’s lat­est re­cruit has first-hand knowl­edge of the true value of the work she is do­ing.

Be­fore her fa­ther, Ge­orge Hig­gin­botham, died three years ago, Claire Halsey wit­nessed the enor­mous joy her fa­ther had from his de­men­tia com­pan­ion.

“My fa­ther had a huge in­ter­est in pho­tog­ra­phy all his life and would spend hours out in the hills tak­ing pic­tures,” said Claire.

“His qual­ity of life was im­pacted by his de­men­tia but luck­ily he had a com­pan­ion who shared his love of the cam­era and he was able to en­joy his hobby again due to her sup­port. She made a mas­sive dif­fer­ence to his last years.”

Claire trained and qual­i­fied as a clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist in Eng­land be­fore mov­ing to Aus­tralia to live and work for 17 years.

Since re­turn­ing to the UK, she has writ­ten and broad­cast on a wide range of is­sues that af­fect fam­i­lies, chil­dren and young peo­ple, in­clud­ing the TV pro­gramme Driv­ing Mum and Dad Mad for ITV 1. She has also pro­vided psy­cho­log­i­cal in­put on the Lor­raine Kelly se­ries Chawn­ers Last Chance. She has writ­ten sev­eral books on parenting and child devel­op­ment and con­tin­ues to write on­line.

A mother-of three, Claire lives only a few min­utes’ walk away from the hos­pice and knows only too well the ex­cel­lent care pro­vided at the hos­pice as her mother, Pa­tri­cia, spent time there in 2010.

“It’s a gift and a priv­i­lege to be able to lead this new pro­ject for the hos­pice,” she said.

“Hav­ing been a carer my­self, I know how im­por­tant sup­port from oth­ers in the com­mu­nity can be.

“My fa­ther was helped enor­mously by his com­pan­ion and I’m de­lighted to be part of this new scheme which will be able to help oth­ers like him.”

Claire Halsey and her fa­ther Ge­orge Hig­gin­botham

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