Friendship Call Participant – Gwen

Gwen started with the project in June 2022 in January 2023 she has now decided that she no longer needs the support of a weekly call. This is testament to her volunteer who has helped give her the confidence to get out and live life again. Gwen has spoken to the same volunteer since she started as they clicked straight away. Gwen’s husband and her best friend both passed away within a year of each other and this really effected Gwen’s mental health and her self-confidence.

At the start of the calls the conversations were very one sided with Fiona her volunteer thinking perhaps the calls weren’t the correct service for Gwen. After a few weeks Gwen started to open up about things that had happened and how much it had affected her. As the calls progressed Gwen was able to realise that life could carry on even though her husband had passed away, and that she needed to make the most of what life she had left. Gwen decided to purchase a caravan at the coast in Lincolnshire and goes to visit it each weekend, she also now goes out most days and mixes with a wide range of people. She has stopped using the service because she felt like she no longer needed the support and felt that other people could benefit from the service that had helped her so much. She also added that her and Fiona weren’t just recipient and volunteer, but they felt like friends for life, and this helped give her the confidence to live life to the full again.