The Folk Like Us Project is funded by The National Lottery Community Fund which provides support and advice to people over the age of 65, living in the Southend Borough who are experiencing loneliness and isolation.
Here is Pat’s story:
Pat is 80 years old and lives on her own in Southchurch. She became aware of Turning Tides after a chance meeting with a couple of Folk Like Us (FLU) members in a local shop. Pat arranged to meet them down at the Hub to learn more about the project and how it might help her.
Pat previously lived in a retirement community in Surrey with her husband. They had planned to move to Southend to be near their son and his family, who were living locally. Unfortunately, Pat’s husband passed away before they moved. After discussing it with her son, Pat decided to go ahead with the move down to Southend.
Although Pat came here to be nearer her family, she was new to the area and didn’t know her way around or have any friends here. During her first visit Paul provided Pat with information about how FLU can help break isolation & loneliness for the over 65’s. After hearing everything on offer she decided to sign up as a member. Pat then attended the hub a few days later and quickly became a regular visitor.
Since becoming a member Pat has participated in Connect events, coffee mornings at M&S, IT training and Christmas activities. The IT training has been a huge help in enabling Pat to benefit from new technologies in her day to day life, from using her smartphone to surfing the internet with confidence.
Regarding the Folk Like Us project, Pat said “The Turning Tides team are a mine of information and very helpful and informative”, adding “I have now made friends here and have gained the confidence to join other groups and clubs outside of the FLU project. It is very reassuring to know that FLU is here if I need them.” Pat knows she is always welcome to pop in at any time if an issue comes up.
Pat is now very active in the community and knows her way around Southend. She keeps herself busy through socialising with her new friends. Pat has gained the confidence to be part of a variety of groups and activities across the town. She still pops into the Folk Like Us hub for a cup of tea and keeps us updated on all her adventures.