‘Even the virus can’t beat us!’ - Derbyshire war veteran and carer Victor celebrates 100th birthday
War veteran Victor Shaw-Willson of the Derbyshire Carers Association will be celebrating a colossal milestone this week by enjoying his 100th birthday.
From surviving the second World War, to caring for his wife as well other carers most in need, it seems an understatement to say that Victor has some incredible stories to tell. Additionally, Victor can’t thank the Derbyshire Carers Association enough for everything they have done for him.
Victor, of Littleover, who reached his milestone birthday on Monday, August 17, said: “Reaching 100 was a rarity 40 years ago, but longevity is normal these days, even the virus can’t beat us!
In my youth, I had been to Germany in 1936 and joined the army when the war came. As a young person in the war - as part of the parachute regiment, I just did my best to stay alive and see it through.
"I met my wife in 1957 and had 63 wonderful years with her. We’ve had a joyful life with 4 children, 16 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. In 1972, my wife became very ill and needed a lot of caring for.
"I became a carer for my wife for a considerable number of years, and towards the end of my caring role, I had to give up work as I couldn’t afford to pay for nurses to come in anymore.
“After Alicia passed away on the 8th February 2019, I started giving my support to other carers and raising the profile of older carers within my community.
“I was struggling at this point and happened to see a sign for Derbyshire Carers Association (DCA), so I popped into the office. It was such a relief to speak to someone who would listen to me and understood what I was going through.
“The DCA showed me I was not alone and I had support available to me. As a carer, 24 hours a day you lose contact with others and become isolated, so having someone with empathy to listen to you helps.
"My support workers, (Emma and Stacey) were the main people I first came into contact with at DCA and they were so helpful and the staff’s love for the carers shines through. I am forever grateful as it has made my life and my wife’s final years so much more bearable.
"If you are a carer struggling through these unprecedented times and don’t know who to talk to, please don’t do this alone. There is help out there and people who understand your struggles – so ask for help!”
Narinder Sharma, CEO of Derbyshire Carers Association, said: “Everyone at DCA would like to wish Victor a wonderful birthday. Victor is a remarkable man with a warm smile, huge heart and we cannot thank him enough for being a fantastic ambassador for DCA and for Carers in our community.”
For more information about how to get involved with Derbyshire Carers Association visit https://derbyshirecarers.co.uk/