Case Study: Sue – Getting Together Clubs/Befriending 

Four years ago, Sue found herself at her lowest ebb. She had raised her three children on her own whilst working two jobs to keep a roof over their heads and food in the cupboards. Sue was always active and considered herself a ‘people’s person’ but upon retiring and her children growing up and moving away, she found herself becoming a bit of a recluse. A resident of Watford for over 40 years, Sue lost three very close neighbours in the same year and with the sudden loss of her loyal loving dog Lucy of 16 years, Sue was heartbroken, low, isolated, and lonely. Even with the support of her family, she felt lonesome. 

On a walk into Watford Town Centre one morning, Sue passed by a stand with a banner advertising W3RT Getting Together clubs. Sue admitted feeling low and alone to our staff and cried as she explained about recently losing her beloved dog. Our warm friendly team convinced her to attend a club. It was such a daunting experience for Sue walking into club for the first time. Her self-confidence was at an all-time low and she couldn’t even manage to sum up the courage to participate. She informed her daughter that evening that she didn’t feel brave enough to go back. Her daughter asked her to try it again and with a follow up call from our staff, Sue returned. She is so happy she did.  

Since joining the Getting Together clubs four years ago Sue’s self confidence has flourised and she now participates in all types of activities including art and craft, chair-based exercise, as well going on trips and events that Getting Together provide. Sue has made lifelong friendships - offering each other trust and support. During lockdown these relationships were especially invaluable as Sue and her club friends kept in touch through regular phone calls making Sue feel ‘blessed, happy, loved and supported.’ 

As a participate in our Companion service during lockdown, Sue enjoyed being matched up with our wonderful volunteer Janice. Both Sue and Janice enjoyed countless wellbeing calls and made plans for when the world would open again to meet up. Upon restrictions lifting, Sue and Janice met for walks along the canals and parks. They enjoyed trips into Hemel Hampstead Old Town for afternoon tea with plenty of great conversations and fun along the way. Sue and Janice remain friends to this day. 

Thoroughly enjoying her weekly club on a Friday at The Barn, Sue describes it as her ‘favorite day of the week.’ An independent lady now, she takes the bus to her club pointing out that ‘no bad weather stops me from missing out on seeing my friends.’ She likes reading the What’s on Guide and encourages her friends to join her in activities such as yoga and exercises. Sue relishes the speakers Getting Together provide who come in and talk to the members about their services. An avid learner she enjoys keeping up with what is going on in her community. 

Sue has become more confident and is back to the ‘people’s person’ she always was. Staff approached her to become a rep for the club and Sue now assists and organises events and takes care of onboarding new members, ‘showing them the ropes to make sure they settle in comfortably.’ Sue feels she has come such a long way since joining our GT club. ‘I enjoyed so much seeing friends and making new ones and the activities we do have done wonders for my mental health and well-being.’ Sue spoke fondly about the time school children would visit the club once a month. ‘We got as much enjoyment spending time and doing fun activities with them as much as they did …. perhaps even more.’ 

‘Thanks to the Getting Together clubs, I have gained my confidence’ says Sue. ‘The friends I have made have given me so much joy and the staff at the club have given me such great support. Happiness is only real when it is shared.’