Walk & Talk – Beryl’s Story

We offer a telephone support service, called Listen & Connect, which gives individuals a safe space to chat and feel heard, as well as receive advice and referrals into a wider range of services within The Active Wellbeing Society and among partner organisations.

Within Listen & Connect, we also support individuals to step back out and engage in social and physical activities, such as one-to-one led bike rides, online support groups, Listen & Lunches, and organised walks. The activities encourage people to become more active and connected outdoors by helping them to build up confidence and develop support networks.

Julie, a member of the Listen & Connect team, recently supported Beryl, an older lady whose husband recently passed away, with telephone calls and in-person support.

Julie told us, ‘Beryl is an 85-year-old lady who knits and watches TV. She loves a good football match! She has 2 grown up children and a family she loves.’ Beryl has been feeling isolated and lonely, so the Social Prescribing team referred her to the Listen and Connect service, so she could have a regular chat and access support.

Beryl and Julie have been talking over the phone on Listen & Connect calls. After a few weeks of chatting, Beryl told Julie she was keen to meet her friend in town by catching the bus, but that she felt nervous about going out and walking. To help her feel more comfortable, they decided to meet up in-person for a Walk & Talk, a 1-1 walk round Beryl’s local area, so they could chat face-to-face and enjoy a nice walk.

Julie explained that ‘We have seen many people on our wanders who have commented on how nice it is to see Beryl back out and about again.’

Since going on their Walk & Talks, Beryl has gained in confidence and has now arranged to meet her friend in town. Julie explained, ‘Beryl says she has really enjoyed our chats and calls’. Beryl’s sons are also pleased, she said they are ‘really grateful that someone has taken the time with their mum and that they have seen a positive difference in her.’

Listen & Connect is a telephone support service with referral pathways into a wider range of further support networks. To find out more and request a telephone call, visit: https://theaws.co.uk/listen-connect/

Nina Conway
Author: Nina Conway