It’s not often I get the chance to stand on the rooftops and shout about my job! Literally!

But an opportunity to be Made in Leeds Friday Legend meant I could do just that.

I’ll never know why filming in my office held no appeal to the film crew but as I look around now and see the coffee mugs (too many!) the chocolate wrappings (not proud) and the huge reams of paper I’ve yet to read (not enough hours in the day) I can see why our roof top garden was the preferred choice.

It was good to talk about the great privilege I have of being the CEO at Carers Leeds. It’s an organisation that is so close to my heart not only because of the brilliant work we do but the supportive and exciting team of staff who works alongside me. Our mantra here is that ‘ none of us can do the job as well as all of us can’ and when I see the team pulling together Carers Leeds 20th anniversary celebrations ( with royalty…cough cough ) and the fantastic launch party of our Parent Carer Support service last week when the royalty there was the kids and their families…..…..that is SO true.

I have my own caring responsibilities.  Caring for parents 100 miles away in the heart of Newcastle makes me a fancy titled Distant Carer.   I have a love hate relationship with the A19! My sister and I are taking up what should be the new Olympic sport of the Tag Team Two as we work together to try and make sure our 93 year old parents who have many health related problems but are as feisty and fearless and ever….. maintain  the best quality of life possible.

It comes as a price as many carers will agree. It often boils down to real ‘one day at a time’ stuff yet how can one really work like that when you are the main coordinator of so many services that so many people are relying on. I have diary dates imprinted on my brain and not often dates for the theatre or the cinema may I say but dates for the District Nurse and the Chiropodist!

So any chance I get to extol the virtue of so many carers who are just getting on with getting on …….carers who in my opinion are the real glue of so many families trying hard to keep their loved ones well…..making difficult decisions daily, having tough conversations, but everyone doing their best.

If Made In Leeds wanted to see me as a Friday Legend on the roof garden well that’s great but I honestly believe the legends are our carers in this great city of ours and beyond.

Val Hewison


You can view the Made in Leeds Friday Legend footage here.