My husband and I joined the Wednesday Befriending Club after contacting Epping Forest District Council. We asked them if there were any clubs in the area for people of our age group (65 yrs and 75 yrs) with mobility difficulties. My husband has had a serious stroke and is a wheelchair user, I have Parkinson’s. The Epping Forest District Council put us in touch with Julie Bristow and we found what we had been searching for. We now attend the club every week, are picked up and brought back to our home. The volunteers assist with the wheelchair by putting it on and taking it off the bus. The club has had a positive impact on our lives. We have made many friends of various age groups with the help and encouragement of Julie and all the wonderful volunteers. The club is extremely welcoming with first class entertainment, fun bingo, raffles and brilliantly planned day trips to a variety of venues. The Xmas party at Hunters Meet was superb with an excellent three course meal, talented entertainers and a day full of fun and laughter. My husband and I have benefited both mentally and physically from all the experiences and opportunities the club has provided.
The club means:
||Communicating and conversing with members and the caring volunteers
||Learning and listening to other people’s life stories whilst alleviating some of the loneliness and isolation that the elderly in the local authority often experience
||Understanding that other people are experiencing similar difficulties to us
||Being among and benefiting from the friendships we have develop
The Voluntary Action Befriending Club has a positive impact on the services (GP, hospital, Mental Health Services, Care in the Community) in Epping Forest because the members are less likely to need access to them. My husband and I appreciate all the hard work that helps the club to flourish which enables us to lead fulfilling and active lives. This is a reminder, that behind the “financial tick boxes” or the “budget spreadsheets”, there is a club full of people like my husband and I who want to say “thank you”. RD
Thank you so much for the gift of our Christmas lunch. Your kindness is really very much appreciated. We really had a lovely afternoon. Thank you.
Thank you very much for providing our club with a wonderful Christmas lunch and super entertainment. It makes such a difference to our lives to be able to get out and have some fun. Thank you again, it was very much appreciated by everyone who attended. Best wishes. Mr and Mrs D
Dear staff and volunteers, B and I want to thank you for the lovely Christmas party at the Royal British Legion. We really enjoyed ourselves and was a lovely start for Christmas. The Christmas named bag was very special so thank you again. M and B
Dear Julie, thank you for another lovely year. You and your team do wonders to keep us happy, knowing each of us and our needs, aware that so many of us have dementia in degrees. But your sharp eyes make sure we’re catered for. We always sit with friends so the men can talk football etc and you always know who can dance etc. I get as much pleasure watching as if I were able again. The carers at home must also benefit from the respite. I have breast cancer again which this time is inoperable and I look to Wednesday’s pleasurable afternoons. Please thank the kind group who gave us such a wonderful afternoon at Hunters’ Meet. I have written about this before and once again we are treated to memories that last, thank you. I do hope the club will be able to continue as for so many it is a bright light in the week. I have noted people walking better, some singing who never talk and the choice of entertainers suits everyone. We are all picked up safely be Trevor, our wonderful driver, who makes sure everyone is safe and sound at home before leaving. There would be a big hole in my week without you. There I so much more I could say in praise of you, your great team and the generosity of those who paid for Hunters Meet but I can see well and my arm is aching, so thank you. PC