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Georgina Davis: Juggling work, care and study

For Georgina Davis, part of the National Grid Smart Team, a typical day includes work, caring for her father and studying. She tells us why you don’t need to do everything on your own and it’s okay to ask for help.

My ambition is to become a programme manager. When I moved to Smart, I asked my manager ‘What do I need to do to get to where you are?’ and she said it would be good to get PRINCE2 accreditation – so I started studying.

I found an online course that I could complete while working and looking after my dad.

My dad, Linden, was diagnosed with MS in 2004. I live at home with him in Edgbaston, providing care as well as working full-time. It’s a challenge but I have help and I’ve learned that sticking to a schedule is vital. My manager really understands how important this is to me and fully supports my working arrangements.

MS is a lifelong condition that affects a person’s brain and spinal cord, making it difficult for them to do everyday things. The doctors tell us at every check-up that my dad is doing well. With some people it robs them of their mobility, hand movement and speech. Compared with them, he has been very lucky.

I had no training as a carer. Dad helped me to start with, by telling me what he needed. At first I tried to be a hero and do everything on my own, but learning to ask for help was a breakthrough for me.

My dad is just 53. He’s a Remote Support Specialist and is still able to work. His employer is a big multinational company that’s happy for him to work from home. He used to travel all over the UK for his job and worked in Germany before his MS got worse.

I had no training as a carer. Dad helped me to start with by telling me what he needed. At first I tried to be a hero and do everything on my own, but learning to ask for help was a breakthrough for me. Now I’m training his carers.

At the beginning my personal life was a little restricted. It takes adjustment – now my friends understand dad needs his dinner by six thirty. If I go back out after that, I make sure I’m back in time to help him to bed – it’s all about timing.

The best advice I could give other carers is to ask for help. I know it can be hard but help is there. By keeping my situation to myself, I was getting upset and stressed; I couldn’t do anything and felt so restricted. Just asking others for help felt like a weight was lifted off me.