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  • Charis Wright

Another cup of tea

Updated: Aug 15, 2019

I grew up in a lovely little house in the village of Markyate as an only child. When I was younger, I was always described as calculated, pensive and mature for my age. Although energetic and playful, I still managed to maintain a pretend understanding of the adult world.

As I grew older, into a young teenager, school and education was exceptionally important to me. I always had my head buried in a book and knuckled down to do homework as soon as I received it. Boring, I know. But it stood me in a great position for adaptable learning as I got older. When I reached secondary school, I began to truly delve into discovering my true passions. These manifested as animals, the arts, and writing.

I pursued my artistic gene further when I joined Amersham College and studied Fine Art and Illustration Media. This was a wonderfully enriching course that included some of my favourite past-times – written work, sculpting, and etching. My side-line hobbies were ballroom and Latin American dancing, amateur dramatics, and singing.

These interests soon blossomed into a strong appetite for connective and friendly communications with people. My creative flair was evident and I wear my personality on my sleeve. I became very confident in holding conversation, and enjoyed thoughtfully listening to the stories people had to tell me. I lent my ear to those who were happy to talk with me, and found myself especially enthralled by all of the wonderful tales older folk had. Being a huge fan of history myself, I found my imagination ever-expanding when I got the opportunity to have a thorough tête-à-tête with someone who had fascinating stories of their younger years in days that were different to our current living.

After leaving college and flexing my creative muscles, I did a lot of growing up and my thinking became more rational and linear. I knew I enjoyed the life of invention and inspiration, but wanted to tap in to my strong desire to help, and listen. I wanted to put my understanding traits to good use! That is when I began to realise how uplifted I felt when I had interacted with an older person and connected, despite our differences in generation and upbringing.

What I find truly inspiring, is the mutual gratitude and enjoyment that is manifested through simply taking a minute to ask about someone’s life. For both parties, there is an atmosphere of playfulness and nostalgia that connects two people closely. It becomes an unconventional yet precious friendship, because there is a strong appreciation for the differences that separate us, but an innocent curiosity that stretches the typical barriers of conversation.

Through the pursuit of my current career, I have felt respected, understood, and I am very grateful for the patience and pleasance of all of the elderly individuals I have worked alongside. The fact that this job is rewarding is simply a side effect of surrounding yourself with good people.

I do this for the people that need life being made that little notch easier; I do it for those who fancy another cup of tea before they go out; I do it for those who need a little more assistance than they’d feel comfortable asking for. I do it to see the improvements in another’s life, because if I have the honour of being trusted by them, then it’s my duty to ensure their wonderful stories of their life continue into their older years. Keep making memories, as well as discussing the already existing ones!

Inspiration is found in the unlikeliest of places, and this is where I find mine.

I no longer consider this to be a job – it sits right at the top of my passions.

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