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Coronavirus Community Careline In Focus: Joyce

3 August 2021

As we celebrate #CarelineAppreciationDay ahead of Stevenage’s opening fixture of the season, we take a closer look at those who benefitted from the Careline’s service...

Joyce is an 83-year-old lady who lives in Stevenage and was referred to the Friendly Chat service by Stevenage Helps, as part of Stevenage Borough Council.

The referral stated that Joyce was struggling having lost her husband in January 2020 and was finding life in the lockdown very difficult. 

The following is taken from the form that was completed by the member of staff on the Friendly Chat Service who contacted Joyce:

Joyce was referred by Stevenage Helps as she recently lost her husband and she isn’t coping very well, although she does have good family support. I tried to call Joyce yesterday but there was no answer, so I did leave an answer phone message.

When I called today, Joyce told me she’d had a very bad day yesterday and found she couldn’t stop crying. She explained to me that her husband had passed away in January and she was finding life very difficult without him. She has a strong family network who live locally and who all contact her regularly, but she is missing her family terribly which is making things worse for her. Joyce mentioned that her and her husband were always very independent which she is trying to maintain. She doesn’t like asking for help, but she did seem to really open up to me and I think she appreciated the call.

I asked what Joyce was doing to keep herself busy and she said she is completing jigsaw puzzles and wordsearches and she tries to potter around in the house and garden. She is waiting on surgery and is currently experiencing a lot of discomfort which she has to take regular pain relief for. I asked about prescriptions and Joyce mentioned she has people dropping them off for her, and she also is being kept regularly stocked up with food by her family and her neighbours who also appear to be looking out for Joyce. She declined the offer of joining the sandwich service.

Joyce did become teary at times, and I tried to reassure her. She seemed to really appreciate the phone call and mentioned that she often didn’t like talking to people but felt comfortable talking to me. I offered to call back and check in next week which Joyce agreed to.

Since that first phone call, Joyce has now been called another 62 times on a weekly basis to check in and offer a friendly ear. She is still trying to maintain her independence and doesn’t like to worry her family with her concerns, but she recently told us that the Friendly Chat service is like a “valve” for her as it allows her to offload her worries and concerns without bothering her family.

She states how much she enjoys the phone calls and that they always put a smile on her face even if she is having a bad day.

Show your support & appreciation for all involved in the Stevenage FC Coronavirus Community Careline this Saturday as Alex Revell’s men take on Barrow AFC in a 3pm kick-off.

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Match tickets for Saturday’s Opening Day fixture vs Barrow AFC are now available from www.borotickets.co.uk.

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