• Chris

Friendship formed in spite of 100 miles of distance, dementia and a pandemic

Updated: Nov 5, 2021

Sue and Jane have both been facing challenges of different kinds, in different parts of the country. Sue has dementia, while Jane has recently lost her husband. Both turned to Vibrant Communities during lockdown.

Seaside: Photographed - Turner Contemporary

Sue and Jane met when they both chose to attend our seaside photography session. We had invited Jo from the Turner Contemporary gallery to talk to us all about seaside photography and share some vintage snaps. Jo showed a picture of a group of women who worked in a hospital in London on a day trip. At once Sue mentioned she trained at the Royal London, and Jane then said 'So did I!' Before they knew it everyone was enjoying swapping stories about midwifery, how it was a tough job, how Sue had decided she decided she'd rather do General Nursing.

After this connection they were pleased to meet each other again at another Vibrant Communities session – a tour of London. But Sue was getting frustrated that she couldn't remember a poem that fitted the theme. She could remember some lines – ‘we have no time to stand and stare’ - and kept coming back to it through the session. At the end of the session, Jane found the whole poem, and we allowed her time to read the whole thing out loud ('Leisure' by William Henry Davies).

Vibrant Communities has allowed a joyful connection between the pair - and eased Sue's frustration. Jane has appreciated something to focus on and enjoy while she deals with her grief. Staff have noticed the difference it has made:

“It's been a lifeline for Jane. She's just lost her husband, if we weren't in a pandemic she might have thrown herself into groups we usually run but that’s all been closed. Instead, she's throw herself into Vibrant Communities - Jo Bird, Chocolate Quarter

Some names have been changed. For more information visit www.vibrantcommunities.co.uk

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