Winter (Leila, part 5)

Posted on 20th December 2018 by


Leila has been a member of our Neighbourhood Care Scheme since 2011. In this regular series, Leila shares her thoughts and experiences with us.


October brought with it the start of winter. The days are getting shorter – the nights longer. The temperature cooled and we saw the most amazing sunsets over the sea.

I made some pumpkin pie and pumpkin soup and took my Granddaughter to a pumpkin carving workshop in the community centre nearby. On the 31st I took her trick or treating around a few roads. My Granddaughter couldn’t manage those few precious words and struggled with shyness – she is only four. She decided to say “Happy Halloween” instead, and once she had knocked on a few doors she felt more confident.

My computer, which is my lifeline, broke. My carers spent hours with me trying to help, but to no avail. I have been on the phone to the computer people – it can’t be fixed.

Thankfully, the place I do my voluntary work saw how distressed I was, decided I needed a laptop in order to do my work and very kindly lent me a new computer. I am over the moon with it. I am back in touch with the world again and able to get on with life.

My volunteer has been unable to visit consistently for quite a while now. She is not well and is finding it hard to do all the things a Mum, worker and volunteer has to do. In November, I emailed Assuntina (the NCS team leader) to inform her of the situation. I also told her I was not mentally well and was struggling. Assuntina was really great, she emailed other NCS volunteers near me to see if anyone was able to visit me for a few weeks to ‘top up’ my contact with the outside world.

As a result, I have met several times with a lovely lady by the name of Liz – she has been wonderful and we get on really well. It has been very wintry, rain and wind driving the cold, yet Liz always manages to make the journey to me. I have been to some very dark places in my mind this month and Liz has helped tremendously. We talk about everyday stuff like cooking, cleaning, theatre visits, etc. – I like to be ‘normal’ for a while and have a chat about ‘normal things’. This gives me a break from what’s on my mind. I would like to say a massive Thank You! to all the NCS staff for making life so enjoyable. You really make such a difference!


Thank you for sharing, Leila. During 2018 we are celebrating 20 years of the Neighbourhood Care Scheme. Find out more here.

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