June’s journey to find her confidence

When 83-year-old June Eccles’s husband died and she stopped working she found herself feeling isolated.

She said: “I am in a different situation than I have ever been in. I always had lots of people around me and suddenly it stopped.

“My daughter sent me an email about Ageing Better and I did not do anything about it until she got cross. That is when I plucked up the courage to do it.”

Since December 2017 June has met regularly with Bridget Bowker, one of Ageing Better Middlesbrough’s outreach team, and found the confidence to run her own taster session and have new friends round for afternoon tea.

June said: “Bridget helped in every way, just being herself. Finding me things to do and just smiling. It has been a revelation to me.”

Bridget said: “June’s a very sociable person but can feel anxious and worries a lot. I worked on building up her self-esteem and her confidence; just by listening and reassuring her that she can do things.”

With Bridget’s support June has felt able to run a gift wrapping taster session. June said: “It felt like I was getting back to normal.”

June at her Gift Wrap taster session

That is not all, friendship blossomed for June and two of our members at a rock and roll taster session.

Thanks to Bridget’s introduction June, Merna and Sheila, who also worked with Bridget, got chatting, found they got on really well and have since met up at June’s house for a spot of afternoon tea.

Merna said: Bridget organises me. She tells me which activities suit me. She is a great friend. She is very thoughtful.”

Sheila said: “It has been really good. Bridget took me to the Rock and Roll taster session which I really enjoyed.”

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