Clive, South West Wales: ‘It was liberating to be the musician again’

Clive’s passion is music, and he loves to play the guitar, having busked internationally for many years. Clive began to experience problems with his mobility while busking in Europe in the 1980s. He returned to his home in West Wales, where subsequent health deterioration led to a right leg amputation.

However, as a full-time wheelchair user, Clive finds it difficult to find opportunities to perform as he says many community venues do not have stages that are suitable for those with disabilities. When Spice’s project manager Moishe Merry was organising two community roadshow events in South Wales, Clive volunteered to play and also organised an open mic session, entertaining audiences of over 500 people.

“It was liberating to be the musician again,” says Clive. “Big Bear Blues Man was on the road, 3 venues – one county, one day! To be centre stage in the Mediterranean gardens felt like I was performing on the continent again. I saw old friends and made new ones!”

Clive earned 8 Time Credits for the time he contributed, but he says the experience also helped to build his confidence.

“The compliments I received over the day really helped rebuild my confidence to be seen as a musician again, not the man who asks about accessibility.”

Clive decided to gift his Time Credits to his carer Naomi as a Christmas present, in recognition of “all the time she goes above and beyond for me.”  

Naomi has since spent her Time Credits on a trip to Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff, and another day out that included visits to Tin Shed Experience, Laugharne Castle and Dylan Thomas’s Boathouse.

We are sharing Clive’s story as part of the It’s Our Time campaign, which celebrates everyday heroes and tackles stigma around ageing. To learn more and get involved contact moishemerry@justaddspice.org