I have heard many people talking about the Ann Widdecombe interview with Piers Morgan this week and it seems most people have an opinion of her. Most have been positive and defensive saying that Piers was quite probing and she came across really well. However, a couple of people have been negative saying that she is quite a battle-axe and parliament is a better place without her.
Ann Widdecombe is most famous for her time on strictly come dancing but she was a strong MP and took no prisoners during her time in the commons. She is also a novel writer.
To me Ann is a legend and I have so much to thank her for. You see Ann was the MP for Maidstone from 1987 until her retirement in 2010 which is the constituency where my father resides in his care home.
For those of you who have not read my previous posts about my Dad, he has Huntington’s disease and is in the latter stages. He has no motor functions left and relies on a wheelchair to leave the home.
Back in 2006, Dad did not have a wheelchair of his own and had lost his ability to walk. In order to take him out we would have to borrow a wheelchair from the communal store at the home and was ill-fitting and uncomfortable for him. An application was made to social services but due to funding it was going to be a long wait. Said made to measure wheelchairs cost in excess of £2000.
After almost a year of waiting, Dad became more and more reluctant to go out in the uncomfortable chairs and spent a lot of time indoors. He became more and more agitated and I could see him looking out of the windows and i knew what he desired more than anything. I couldn’t afford to pay for the chair myself so i decided to contact social services. My calls and emails brought us no further to getting Dad his chair and I was feeling desperate.
I looked up who the local MP was and when I saw it was Ann, I thought I wasn’t going to get anywhere trying to contact her. I guess I had made a judgement about Ann before I had even tried. After a few weeks I decided to email her. You can imagine my surprise when she responded personally. My email was a very personal and emotional one but I felt she needed to know all the facts.
Ann’s response was positive and she asked if she could meet me and Dad. She came to the home and was non judgemental and spent time talking to Dad and I and asked lots of questions about Huntington’s. She was a lovely woman and had a stern but compassionate nature which made me warm to her.
A couple of weeks later, I received an email from Ann. She thanked me for my time and said what a pleasure it was to meet both Dad and I. She also advised that she was overseeing the commission of Dad’s wheelchair and that we could expect it to be delivered in 6 weeks. I was elated. I cried many tears and I raced to the home to tell Dad the news. He was overwhelmed and cried with Joy. I couldn’t thank her enough and a heart-felt thanks was sent.
When the chair arrived, so did a handwritten card from Ann. She hoped that the chair would make Dad’s life more comfortable and would provide him with the independence that would enhance his life.
Thank you so much Ann. I don’t care what people say, you are an amazing, compassionate and warm lady and it was a pleasure to meet you. You have enabled Dad to have a quality of life that makes him want to carry on.
Bouche x x x