Alan Dein presents documentaries about modern Britain. BBC Radio 4’s critically acclaimed…
Listen now 30 mins
"Pusher needed for Silly Old Fart in Wheelchair".
When Terry Chambers had to use a wheelchair after a stroke, he needed someone to push him through the streets of Crouch End in North London. He already had one carer but it wasn't enough. So he placed this jokey advert in the local newsagent's window and found Robert.
Terry may describe himself as a silly old fart but he used to be a highly successful photographer. He took pictures of the Royal Family and many other famous faces. He would travel the world, going wherever the work was, too busy for a wife or family. And he was a regular in the wine bars and restaurants of the West End of London.
But three years ago his career was ended by the stroke. He can't walk and has limited movement in his hands. He needs help with everything. However, Terry still wants a semblance of the life he had before- the wine bars, the alcohol and the good lunches in particular.He can't get as far as he used to, so he stays around the area of Crouch End where he's lived for over 40 years. That's where Robert comes in- helping him get out and about.
Robert didn't start out as a carer. For decades, his work was in construction, building roads and pavements and refurbishing offices. Then a friend suggested he would be good at looking after people and he never looked back. At the start of the day he helps Terry wash, gets him dressed and prepares medicine for him. Then it's time to push the wheelchair out of the flat for the day for Terry to visit a wine bar- perhaps two- have a good lunch and some fun in the afternoon.
Alan Dein follows the pair of them as they navigate the streets and finds out how Terry's stroke has altered his landscape. How has his view of the world changed now that he is sitting in a wheelchair? And what are the qualities that make a really good pusher....?
Producer: Emma Kingsley.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.