With ongoing support from The Wallich, Gaynor is building her confidence and meeting new people.
Read her story.
“The Wallich supported me when my partner passed away.
I live in a bungalow, as I have disability problems.
We [Gaynor and her partner] lived in a house at first, with 14 steps from the garden to the front door.
My partner broke his femur bone, and he was on dialysis three days a week. The ambulance service had to carry him up and down the steps.
We moved in the September. He went into hospital in October after becoming ill, and he never came out.
He passed away in December. So, he never had chance to really experience living there.
I live on my own now. I’m 49. I have carers come to help me, but I try and do as much as I can myself.
Friends they come and go. Some friends are there for good. Some I haven’t seen since Covid.
I used to go out a lot. But then I hadn’t been out for months and months.
I thought, ‘I can’t do that, I’ve not got the confidence to go like’, you know?
I hate Saturday and Sunday because there’s nowhere to go. I think ‘roll on Tuesday’ so I have somewhere to go.”
“It was the hospital who told me [about The Wallich].
And the staff, they’ve been a great help.
The Wallich supported me when my partner passed away, as I had to have help to go from one benefit to another.
That was hard work because they [DWP] wanted to cancel this, continue that. Then I had to phone housing.
So, they [The Wallich] did all that with me. They helped with all the forms.
I’ve got a bus pass now. I never had one before.
I wasn’t fussed at first [attending The Wallich’s wellbeing group], you know, cos I was nervous about meeting people, as I’m on crutches.
I said, ‘Yes’ and then I said, ‘Oh no I’m not going today’. But they said, ‘Just pop in any time’.
But at first, I didn’t have the confidence because of my walking sticks. I think people look, stare, and judge you.
People do judge you if you’ve got disabilities.
I’m waiting for a hip replacement. It really brings me down.
I wonder how I will be in the future. I mean, am I always going to have to have these [crutches]?”
“Steph [a Senior Support Worker at The Wallich] said, ‘We’ve got this allotment group’. I said, ‘I can’t do gardening’ but she said,
‘We’ve got a shed, just come and talk with people’.
I’ve been coming now for four or five weeks. It gets me out to talk with people.
I come [to the allotment] on a Monday, Wednesday is art and then Thursday is here [at the allotment] again.
I’d come 7 days a week. This has been an eye opener for me, and I hope this project continues.
We’ve been doing graffiti art. I made a bird house a couple of weeks ago. This week, we’re doing some pottery, making pots out of clay.
When I first came here, I was the quiet person, sitting in the corner not saying anything. But I am the opposite now. Now I feel confident with everyone.
Some days I come here and there are different people that I haven’t met before. And that’s fine. I’m alright meeting new people now.
The only reason I’d stop coming is if it closes.”
“I can’t wait to see the veg grow.
A couple of weeks ago, a lady came and made vegetable soup outside.
If we have the right veg, we can do it again ourselves. I’m looking forward to that.”