Case Study: J – Getting Together Clubs

I have 2 daughters, 1 local and 1 not quite so local. I have always been an independent, active, and sociable person and enjoyed getting out and about. I cared for my husband until he passed away in 2014. I tried to keep up with my social activities as much as I could. I have been going to a mother’s union group now for many years, this takes place twice a month at my local church. I have always enjoyed getting the bus into Watford or Hemel town centre to visit the department stores. I don’t drive so the bus has always been the easiest mode of transport for me.

At the start of the pandemic, I found myself getting very anxious about the virus. I was told by the government to stay at home. I did not really know why at this point, but I did as I was told. My daughter done my shopping for me whilst I sat around at home. During this time, I found I was getting more & more anxious, not understanding what I could or couldn’t do. I was losing more and more confidence with going out and with my walking. During this time, I felt me physical & mental health was deteriorating, I needed to keep myself moving to keep walking. After a few months I started to go for short walks around a local park, it was wonderful just to see grass & flowers again. I was still very anxious and didn’t want to be around lots of people. It was several months before I could see my Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren. I was in a bubble with my daughter that doesn't live very local to me but did see her Occasionally for a walk. We were not allowed visitors where I live as it is independent living and there are many elderlies around.

After a while of staying home and a few walks in the park I decided to start doing my own shopping again from my local shops, it was lovely choosing my own food again, but I didn’t like it if the shop got to crowded.

As the country starting to open more, I would take the bus to visit a friend, I was always careful and wore my mask on the bus. I found it very strange the first time in a while that I took the bus as I forgot how to get the bus driver to stop at my required stop, this made me chuckle when I remembered all I had to do was to press the button. My fortnightly Mother Union church club slowly opened but Sundays at the church were to busy with lots of people, so I avoided the Sunday Service.

Many of my neighbours had previously mentioned a social club they used to attend in Abbots Langley Community centre and said how much they enjoyed going and they would hope someday soon it would re-open again. That day came, and as it was so local to me, I walked the short distance and took myself along knowing only a couple of people. I was welcomed by everyone and had a lovely afternoon; I was happy that it was Covid safe with temperatures being taken on entry and hand sanitizer to hand. The impact this lovely club has had on my life is amazing, it has cheered me up and given me a purpose to get up in the morning, it has also given me my confidence back for joining in with others and getting out and about walking again. Each week we are doing something different from exercise in our chairs to keep our bodies moving to quizzes/ trivia to keep our minds active. I have made some new friends and caught up with some old friends that also attend the group. Starting at this group made me realise how depressed I was becoming, thankfully I joined in at the perfect time. I am feeling much happier of late and feel any depression has lifted and I hope to continue to be as active as I can for as long as I can and keep attending this great club.