Ollie and Dave do Scotland…
Ok, I bet that got your attention? Working for Charco has its benefits, the least of which that I’ve recently found is the ability to really make someone’s day special. The Community Support team has been doing this for a while now. They are the hardy souls who travel to all points on the compass in the UK, delivering the CUE1 in-person to those who request their CUE1 to be delivered by a member (or sometimes two) of the Community Support team. I was recently asked to join them, and of course I accepted- this is an honest account of what we got up to on our Scottish Odyssey.
After about a week’s planning, we were finally ready to go. The itinerary had been planned (check), hotels booked (check), Ollie’s train to Carlisle (check); everything was in place. The first hitch was the train- we planned to meet in the hotel bar (obviously, where else could we meet?) but, due to the ‘efficient’ service from Euston to Carlisle, Ollie arrived very late so that didn’t happen. So, I was forced to meet someone who I was going to spend 3 days in the car with just about 5 mins before we were due to set off. I needn’t have worried. After a short fight through the ‘rush hour’ (nothing in Carlisle ever feels like it’s ‘rushing’ anywhere!), we got out of town and onto the M6, which took us on a short drive to Scotland (yes Ollie, it’s 6 miles from Carlisle!). We drove through the Lowlands to Glasgow, where we delivered a couple of CUE1 devices to people who had requested an in-person delivery. Everyone we saw was just as happy to see us as we were to meet them. It’s a marvellous job, doing this for people; it always seems to have a positive effect when people realise that I am also a PwP (Person with Parkinson’s) and can talk to them with the knowledge that living with the condition gives you. Glasgow wasn’t too bad- we then went a bit further and stayed in Falkirk, ready for the next day’s delivery.
Day #2 was the longest, wettest drive I’ve done in quite a while- Falkirk to Peterhead (or PEETA HEED as my Scottish friends call it). We didn’t realise at the time that the day after we’d been there, the whole area was flooded! Anyhow, another CUE1 delivered and another happy person left in Peterhead. It never ceases to amaze me what an effect something so small can have on someone. After seeing someone who was a little unsteady become more stable and able to walk better, it really does make my day. I am certain this applies to all of us in the Community Support team. You very often make our day with the demonstration that the CUE1 can work. We travelled back to Aberdeen, and stayed in a lovely hotel on the outskirts.
Next day, we had to drive through a beautiful part of the world on a forest road to reach Banchory. After delivering the CUE1, we were then on our last delivery- to Edinburgh, after which we could look forward to our journey home, with me driving back to Carlisle whilst Ollie caught the train to ‘The South’. This was probably the most picturesque of drives home that we had- my satnav (thanks Volvo) took us across the Tay Bridge in Dundee, and eventually across the impressive Queensferry Crossing near Edinburgh (the actual Forth Road Bridge isn’t used so much anymore). We found our way around the streets of Edinburgh (I would at this point like to thank the person who invented Sat Nav- you are awesome!), before finding our last delivery. This was when I realised why we had been paired together for this trip. One of Ollie’s attributes is his grasp of languages. The new CUE1 user was a Spanish speaker- Ollie only speaks fluent Spanish, doesn’t he? I thought it was a very nice touch to be able to converse with people in their native language- Good Man Ollie- though even more amazing was the fact that I think I actually understood what the were talking about (could be a remnant of doing my Basic firefighter course with six firefighters from Gibraltar). It always amazes me what you pick up subliminally from all over the place; the human brain is a wonderful thing (most of the time, anyway!).
With our last CUE1 delivered, and more people now with something that can help them live better with Parkinson’s, we braved the rush hour traffic to drop Ollie at Waverley Street station. If you don’t know Edinburgh very well, it’s right in the centre, so the traffic can only be described as ‘busy’, which probably explains how I managed to get onto the wrong road out of Edinburgh and spent a lovely time in the dark Scottish countryside, on a road that took me over the top of the moors and deposited me in Moffat. After finding my way to the M74, I was home in 45 mins.
NOTE TO SELF- I must go back and drive along that road in the daylight- it was very twisty and windy, with some hills along the way?
Anyway, if you are in any doubt that Team Charco do indeed go the extra mile, I hope I may have given you an insight into the work that goes on behind the scenes to get the CUE1 out to those who will benefit from it.
Thank you to Dave for his latest blog; to sign up to our waiting list, please click here.