Ann Barkas is the director of The Dynamic Duo. When her husband passed away, FSB Care were there to support Ann every step of the way. Here, Ann tells us her story in her own words.
I didn’t know about FSB Care until I was at a meeting where one of the Membership Advisors spoke about it. And I thought, that’s really good. And the lady who provided me with my help is an FSB member as well, and so they signed her up to do the care for me.
My husband passed away two years ago, and obviously I was going through the grieving process. There wasn’t a lot of time for me to look after myself. I was his main carer and my own health was suffering.
I was recovering from cancer as well, so that doesn’t help because I was in that situation where I was still attending hospital and under scrutiny by the hospital. So, when I knew that FSB Care was available, I had an appointment with the lady who helped me and we discussed what I needed to think about.
She put a special programme together for me, so we had quite a few sessions. We did ‘havening’, which I’d never heard of, which is a way of helping you to readjust your mind to all the things that you’re experiencing.
She was the only person that could actually make me cry. And I cried. And that’s what I needed to do.
She also looked at my health as well and my lifestyle, my diet, what I was eating and drinking. She put together a really good plan for me.
What’s happened since then is she’s helped me to cope with the grieving process. I visited her every week, which was very hands-on. And if I needed to talk, she was on the other end of the phone. She did a really good job, I was absolutely delighted. I still have some treatments from her now. She also does massages and acupuncture for me. It’s been a positive experience for me.
From the care side of it, the actual nurses and experts at the office, they were really supportive. They were phoning me, making sure I was okay. They offered me whatever I needed. I found that great, the whole experience has been amazing. It’s definitely helped me.
When you’re alone, you can’t always afford to get help and support from experts without having to pay. With FSB, you can access it at any time.
Financially, I got some of it paid so I was able to access the help without having to wait. Macmillan are brilliant, they were amazing when my husband was first diagnosed. But you have to wait so long. You need the help when you need the help. Not everybody’s the same, and you have to try and do it when you need it, and that’s exactly what happened with FSB Care.
The people I have now met through FSB, they have been very supportive as well. The other small businesses know my story, so I get a lot of help from them.
When I was diagnosed five and a half years ago, and I had to have chemo and radiotherapy, I actually lost my business, because I didn’t really have the support there, and I couldn’t do it on my own. So, having the support this time, even not for me but support getting through the journey, it’s been absolutely amazing.
You don’t have to face it alone
Running your own business isn’t always smooth sailing, but when you’re the boss, who can you turn to? Access confidential and long-term support for physical or mental health conditions from FSB Care. We’re here for you.