Change for the better

Thornaby resident Colin Devlin lost his wife nearly five years ago...

Thornaby resident Colin Devlin lost his wife nearly five years ago.

He wasn’t sure what to do with life back then, and found it hard to cope with his feelings. 

Little did he know, a chance meeting with Ageing Better Middlesbrough staff and members was about to change everything.

The 77 year old said: “I was sat on my own at Debenhams Café in the town centre a little while ago, and I noticed some activities going on across the room from me.

“A lady called Linda approached me and asked if I was part of the café meet up session, to which I replied I wasn’t.

“She said I could join in with the group, but I was a little apprehensive, so I said no at first.

“Then a lady called Chris came over to talk to me and asked if I would like to be part of their quiz team. I later found out she was a member of Ageing Better Middlesbrough and had been going to activities for some time. 

“I was a little dubious as I’d spent a lot of time on my own since my wife passed, so wasn’t used to the company, but I just thought ‘to hell with it’ and joined in with them.”

It was at that point that Colin’s life changed for the better. He made friends with Chris and her friends and now regularly meets them to go on trips away. 

“We have been to Durham, Helmesley, Whitby and to lots of other Ageing Better events since I became part of the group. They have really made me feel welcome. I feel a lot more upbeat and active now and I’m always looking for something to do. I love planning trips and getting out of the house.

“I do have other friends but because they all work it’s been difficult to meet them during the day, so I’m glad I went to Debenhams that day. 

“I’d urge everyone to get in touch with Aging Better Middlesbrough too, because when you see the activities they have on offer, you’ll never look back. It literally is life changing. 

“The staff are brilliant too, they put you at ease and make you feel very welcome. No matter how nervous you may be.”  

Find out more about our Café Meet Ups and other activities in our What’s On and Taster Session events programme.

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