Margaret had been involved with Ageing Better Middlesbrough for a few years, when the first lockdown hit. She had lost two friends to cancer and has problems with anti-social behaviour where she lives and her mental health was suffering.

She received befriending calls from Hope’s Wellbeing team. These were a lifeline for her as “ The calls helped me and kept me level, I don’t know what I would have done without them. When the lockdown eased a bit I met up with Linda for a coffee. I find it difficult to get up on a morning and get ready, meeting her gave me a purpose, something to do and to get to.”

Since then, Margaret has joined in with our picnics, coffee mornings, cookery sessions, drop-ins and visits to the seaside. Her mobility has suffered during the lockdown months but she is now getting out and is determined to keep going. She has also made a friend through group meetings. The Wellbeing Service has helped Margaret start getting out of the house after lockdown. Being with others has given her a new focus and has helped to improve her mental health.