My name is Daryl Lees and I was born on 25 October 1965.
My mother’s name is Jill and my father’s name was William Edward, but he was known to his family and friends as Ted. I am the youngest of five children, the eldest pair being twins. Jill and June were born in 1951, my brother Kevin was born in 1953, and my sister Karen was born in 1955. As I was born over 10 years later, my childhood was quite lonely, as they were all late teenagers when I was starting to be aware of things.
My Mam and Dad separated and they divorced in 1974. I went and lived with my Mam and we spent two years together on our own, when she met and married my stepfather, Richard Arthur – known to his family and friends as Mac. They have been married ever since, and have recently celebrated over 30 years of marriage.
I went to school in 1969 and left in 1982, after attending Morven Park infants, Jeffries junior and Ashfield comprehensive schools in my hometown of Kirkby-in-Ashfield.
I started a YOP scheme, set up in the 1980s by the Thatcher government,which enabled me to earn £25 a week…my first job was at the local builders’ merchants, and I worked there for a year, before the scheme ran out. I then started work on another YOP scheme at a main electrical chain at the time, Wigfalls, as a floor assistant. My employment there lasted just three months, because then I began full-time employment.
This was at the Coronation Club in Kirkby-in-Ashfield – I started there in October 1984, and left, as Head Barman in 1992. I then went to work at the well-known hosiery firm Pretty Polly Ltd, where I worked as a production assistant, packer and supervisor… before having to finish work full-time because of ill health.
Dementia and its affects
I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease in June 2011 and I was put on the medication Aricept to help combat the inevitable decline that this illness brings with it.
My mother is in the latter stages of this illness and she is, along with her husband (my stepfather who has dementia too) in a residential carehome in our local town.
I have support from my social worker and the social services and also I have support worker who calls and helps me live independently on my own for six hours per week.
In November 2012 I was diagnosed with the first stages of Parkinson’s Disease, and I am on medication and patches for this condition too.