Carers Gloucester A better life for Carers Four Gates Walk a mile in my shoes

Celebrated International one-handed pianist Nicholas McCarthy is urging people to get involved in Carers Gloucestershire’s fundraising event on the 5th June ‘Walk a mile in my shoes’.  To encourage people to register for this event, this highly acclaimed pianist is offering two free sets of tickets to his concert in Cheltenham at the Parabola Arts Centre on Sunday 29th May 2016.  Winners will also be able to meet Nicholas and will receive a signed CD.

Nicholas McCarthy , who at one point was told he would never have a career, is not your average artist. Born in 1989 without his right hand he only began to play the piano at the late age of 14 after seeing a friend play Beethoven’s Waldstein Sonata but was determined to fulfil his dream of becoming a concert pianist. He made history in July 2012 by being the only left handed player to graduate from the Royal College of Music since it was founded. Four years later, Nicholas is widely featured through national and international press, regularly giving live performances and media interviews on the BBC, ITV and appeared in a Channel 4 documentary.  He has presented the BBC Proms and draws a cross section of new audiences to his imaginative recitals, many of whom had never been to a piano recital.  McCarthy has now signed a record deal with Warner Classics and has just released his first album entitled “Solo” with the label.

This exceptionally talented pianist is Patron of Carer’s Gloucestershire and works hard to support the charity. Nicholas commented “I’m honoured to be donating the tickets and encouraging local people to register for’ Walk a mile in my shoes’ this year. I’m going to be completing the walk myself a week early on the morning of the concert on the 29th.  Carers Gloucestershire really touched my heart with the work that they do in providing a support network for people who find themselves in a caring role. It struck me that anyone of us could find ourselves in that position at any time and it’s comforting to know that Carers Gloucestershire are there to turn to.”

This year ‘Walk a Mile in my Shoes’ will be the biggest carer awareness event in the South West of England and will be taking place again in Pittville Park, Cheltenham, on Sunday 5th June 2016. The event will see people from across the county swapping footwear with their sons, daughters, husbands, friends, neighbours or even a complete stranger to walk a mile around the park and launch National Carers Week.

Asking walkers to register for “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” will help the charity reach their £10,000 fundraising target to raise funds for the “Time Out for Carers” service. This project helps unpaid family carers, many of whom are financially disadvantaged, to have a well-earned break.  These are people who wouldn’t normally get a break from their responsibilities and it enables carers to get a desperately needed day out, creating a wealth of happy memories for the future.

Tim Poole, Chief Executive of Carers Gloucestershire commented “For many carers, their caring role has a detrimental effect on their own health and wellbeing. A day out can often be the one thing that stands between them and a complete breakdown. By joining us and stepping out at Pittville Park later this June, you will be helping to make a real difference to the lives of unpaid carers across Gloucestershire.”

The walk is part of a larger fun day with stalls and free family activities, which will celebrate the contribution of Gloucestershire’s 63,000 unpaid family carers.  This has been made possible by our sponsors New Beginnings who provide residential care for adults with learning disabilities, along with grants from the Barnwood Trust and Freemasons. There will be face painting, Inflatables and children’s entertainment from the Music Man, Gloucester Salvation Army Band and Circus Show and Workshop. There will be a multitude of craft stalls and you can enjoy hot food , refreshments and cakes available from the tea tent.

To be in with a chance to win this all you have to do is register to walk before the 30th April (if you’ve already registered you’ll be automatically entered!). Registration can be online at www.carersgloucestershire.org.uk or call Carers Gloucestershire on 01452 386283. It costs just £10 for adults to register and £5 for children and includes a free t-shirt and goody bag.