Friendship Call Participant – Maggie

Maggie has been receiving the befriending calls since May 2022. Her husband passed away in 2018. Even though she does have children, she has said since her husband passed away, she hasn’t had someone to talk to about ‘normal everyday things’ which she really missed. During Lockdown her mental health really suffered as she wasn’t able to see her family much.

Recently Maggie has had lots of health issues which has resulted in her being in hospital on numerous occasions. She has also found out that her eldest brother, who she’s always been ‘thick as thieves with’, has terminal cancer that has spread to most of his body. All of this stress has led to a decline in Maggie’s mental health.

She has spoken to the same volunteer since she started the calls and has developed a close bond with her volunteer. Maggie said that her volunteer always pulls her out of her ‘funk’ and they end up in giggles whenever they talk.

Maggie said talking with her volunteer helps her to forget ‘how bad things can be’ even if it’s just for half an hour, she said she felt like the conversations flow so easily as they have very similar interests and outlooks on life. They have covered every topic imaginable. Maggie loves the fact the volunteer is sometimes somewhat blunt (in the nicest possible way!) saying “yes everything is bad at the moment, but things can’t get any worse, can they?” and “you need to put on your big girl knickers and get on with it don’t you, if you don’t do it no one else will”. Now her mental health is a lot better than it was, her overall health has stabilised a bit now and she is enjoying spending time with her brother making as many memories as possible, they are planning on a having the whole family take a cruise over the Christmas period. In Maggie’s own words “never underestimate the difference the calls make, sometimes it’s the one consistent in my life and it means the world to me”.