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Lynda Wisbach 1957-2010

05 August 2010
Lynda Wisbach, one of Carers UK's trustees since November 2006, passed away peacefully on Wednesday 28th July at home surrounded by her family. She had been battling Motor Neurone Disease for the last two years.

To our Board of Trustees Lynda was a colleague and friend and was a much valued member of the Board. She was also a much loved friend to the staff and members of Carers UK who will remember her as an amazing and tenacious campaigner for carers' rights.

Lynda's caring role began when husband Philip had a brain haemorrhage in 1992 at the age of 37 that left him unable to walk and with other serious health problems. At that time they had a young child Stuart, and so Lynda began juggling caring for Philip with her job as a civil servant in the Department of Work & Pensions.

So began many battles to get the support she needed. Lynda discovered the hard way how difficult it is for carers to get information and the services they are entitled to. She always said she wouldn't have been able to cope through this difficult time without the support of Carers UK.

'Back Me Up'

Lynda's involvement with Carers UK really stepped up a gear in 2004 when she contacted us to tell us about a problem she had when her son Stuart, by now away at University, had a serious accident. Lynda's instinct was to drive the 150 miles to be at Stuart's hospital bedside, but she was unable to leave Philip on his own. When she called the Social Services emergency team she was told they were unable to help her. Lynda wanted to know what Carers UK was doing about situations like this.

Lynda persuaded us that we should do a campaign on emergency care for carers. We carried out research and the resulting 'Back Me Up' campaign came directly from her experiences. We were delighted when Lynda agreed to front the campaign. She and Philip were photographed and became our cover stars and Lynda did lots of press and media around the campaign.

As a result of the 'Back Me Up' campaign, councils all over the UK began to develop Carer Emergency Schemes and in February 2007 Government announced £25 million funding for local authorities to provide emergency support. There is no doubt that those schemes and that money would not have happened without Lynda.

Passionate campaigner

After the success of 'Back Me Up', Lynda continued to do a lot of media work for Carers UK. As a media spokesperson for carers she was brilliant and fearless. She appeared on radio shows like You and Yours, did newspaper and magazine articles such as the Times and even appeared on the This Morning sofa on primetime ITV with then Minister for Carers Ivan Lewis MP. He was launching the new Carers Strategy and Lynda would not let the Minister off the hook on his promises to carers. It made for great television and inspired many carers watching to pick up the phone and seek help.

Lynda was passionate about making the public understand the plight of carers and believed strongly that carers must stand together as one voice to change policy and influence politicians. She fought many battles herself with getting services and benefits for her family. It angered her that carers should have to fight so hard to get the basic support they needed. And yet as well as her own battles she was always willing to stand up and speak on behalf of other carers. She was never afraid to tell the truth and speak up for those carers who were too worn down or tired to speak themselves.

Lynda Wisbach, inspiring carer campaigner 1957-2010 : Lynda is survived by her husband Philip, son Stuart, sisters Joyce and Alana and her Mother Violet. She will be greatly missed by all her friends and colleagues at Carers UK.

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