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"Getting away from your four walls is very important." Catherine's journey out of lockdown.

Published on 25 August 2021 11:53 AM

“I’m on a bit of a seesaw, I go up and down in terms of how I’m feeling about it, but I do what I can. Sometimes you just need to get out. This morning I got up and out for 10 o’ clock, straight out the door and did a bit of retail therapy and then when I got back I rewarded myself with cooking the things I’d bought.”

Catherine is in her 70s and lives in East Bristol. She has a history of keeping busy, trying out lots of different professions and various hobbies from learning French to painting and creative writing however as news began to emerge in early 2020 of the Coronavirus, she began to limit her social contact. “I had my arts class but I said I couldn’t go that week, and then by the next one we were in lockdown!” Said Catherine.

Catherine, true to character, kept herself busy during early lockdown. She read all the books she’d been meaning to get round to but after a few months she began to struggle with being bored and felt ‘shut in’ in her own home.

She contacted Age UK Bristol and asked about what activities and events the charity were running during the lockdown. Age UK Bristol runs a variety of virtual activities including an online art club however as Catherine doesn’t have a computer this wasn’t suitable, instead she tried out the telephone group. The group is weekly and is led by a volunteer facilitator who introduces topics like local history for the telephone group members to share their thoughts and experiences of.

Catherine spoke to the other members about how she was feeling going out again as lockdowns began to lift. “I’m on a bit of a seesaw, I go up and down in terms of how I’m feeling about it, but I do what I can. Sometimes you just need to get out. This morning I got up and out for 10 o’ clock, straight out the door and did a bit of retail therapy and then when I got back I rewarded myself with cooking the things I’d bought.”

Catherine has worked up to her trips to the shops as at the beginning of lockdown her daughter shopped for her. She has rebuilt her confidence in going out with small journeys. “At first I’d take the bus 3 or 4 stops, just to get out of the house and then turn around...but other days I’d open the back door and sit on the step if I was feeling closed in. Even just sitting in a different room can help, have a change of scene.”

Catherine also recommended visiting local green spaces. Her suggestion was St George’s park because it is easy to get to by bus being next to the main road, and is largely flat and accessible for those who might struggle to walk far. “You could sit out there for hours with a friend, knitting or reading together. Getting away from your 4 walls is very important.”

This story is a part of Age UK Bristol and the Support Hub’s ‘One Small Step to Reconnect’ campaign, supporting an empowering people over 50 to reconnect with their community and rebuild their confidence in going out again post-lockdown. To find out more about the telephone group Catherine attended, visit www.ageukbristol.org.uk .