4 Bands, 3 Carers, 2 Gigs, 1 City 


Liz, Holly and Owen are heroes.


Wife and children to Tony. All carers. All making sacrifices daily which is the lot of carers. And huge music fans which makes giving the gift of a night seeing a favourite band a pleasure.


First up was a night at The Darkness for Holly and Owen at the Academy in Manchester. Getting in nice and early there was plenty of time to visit the merch stand where t-shirts are purchased and a spot close to the stage found.


An unexpected pleasure was the support band, The River 68s, two brothers from Glasgow who played a stunning set which led to another trip to the merch stand as their EP was there to be had and to be signed after the show by the two brothers.


Going out together is a rarity so to see Holly and Owen at a show, smiling and enjoying themselves was something special. So was seeing Holly meet both bands afterwards.


Mum Liz, had to wait her turn, the Def Leppard/Whitesnake show at the Manchester arena. Often waiting your turn is the life of a carer, the needs of the cared for coming first, learning to sacrifice, forgetting about yourself. Liz is very good at putting others first initially willing to sacrifice going with her children so as not to take funds away from others Given To Live might take to a show in the future and flat out refusing a show for herself. In the end Liz went with Tony to Stereophonics, The Darkness with her children and to Def Leppard with Holly as her plus one, the first time mother and daughter had ever been able to go out together.


Being a carer is tough, sometimes feeling invisible; whether the primary carer like Liz or young carers like Holly and Owen. For Given To Live to be able to give them each something is a privilege. To see their smiles a gift.