Ludlow man is dedicated volunteer despite suffering from chronic illness and being a full-time carer (From Ludlow Advertiser)
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Ludlow man is dedicated volunteer despite suffering from chronic illness and being a full-time carer
8:00am Saturday 16th June 2012 in News
A LUDLOW man has put his own serious illness on the back burner to help others cope with a crippling disease.
Bob Howorth not only supports others with a highly debilitating lung condition but is also the sole carer for his sick wife.
Now Bob has been highlighted as a beacon volunteer at the end of the annual volunteering week.
The 75-year-old is a tutor on the Expert Patient programme and talks to groups and individuals across Shropshire providing advice and encouragement about how they can make the most of their lives.
Bob Howorth became a volunteer tutor in 2010. Between April 2011 and April 2012, he has delivered 14 courses in Shropshire to 146 participants, and has delivered 27 courses overall since he started as a volunteer. “The most rewarding thing about it is the satisfaction of helping people and knowing how much the course does help because I’ve been on it myself,” said Bob.
Bob suffers with with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
This is a long term disease that includes conditions like chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
It involves damage to the airways in the lungs causing them to narrow and making it harder to get air in and out of the lungs.
As well as causing shortness of breath, sufferers can also experience acute anxiety because of the difficulty in breathing.
Bob went on an Expert Patient Programme in 2009 and learned a great deal. During the course, the opportunity to train as a tutor was mentioned and he knew that’s what he wanted to do.
Now an accredited tutor, Bob is also his wife’s carer. “She has very bad arthritis, so I need to make sure she’s ok if I’m off tutoring, but I’ve always wanted to help people and I get a lot out of it. I’d say to anyone thinking about volunteering – ‘try it’.
“Bob has made an outstanding contribution to volunteering in the Shropshire area. Volunteers’ Week is a great opportunity to celebrate volunteers like Bob who are making a difference in their local communities across the UK,” said Lyn Wilson, EPP CIC national volunteer manager.
EPP CIC’s free self-management courses take place at locations across Shropshire and are open to anyone with any long-term health condition – such as epilepsy, a heart condition, diabetes or a condition causing pain, to name just a few.
n Local residents can find out more or register by calling free phone 0800 988 5560, emailing email@example.com or visiting www.expertpatients.co.uk.