Help us help people like Paul
Paul: “The Living Well Groups offer that bit of escapism when you’re feeling lonely”
Spending long periods of time indoors throughout the pandemic was incredibly challenging for everyone, but for retired South Yorkshire firefighter Paul Astle, it came while he was a full-time carer for his wife, Sue.
However, he says thanks to your donations, he was able to join our virtual Living Well Groups which offered him a break from some of his day-to-day concerns and reconnected him with the fire service community he’d always loved.
In fact, he enjoyed them so much, he’s continued to take part in the years since.
“My wife, Sue, has Alzheimer’s and I was her carer throughout the start of the pandemic,” says Paul. “It’s 24 hours, it never leaves you. I didn’t really find anything helped me switch off to be honest until the Living Well Group calls.”
Paul was told about how we offer regular online sessions with retired members of our fire services community, helping them to create vital social connections. These calls now run alongside our face-to-face meetings.
“I’m not one for going out a lot, and if you can’t get out – for example, I can’t go out if it’s raining or icy, because of my knees – to be able to talk to people and see them as well is a big help.”
“They were great during the pandemic, with loneliness and things like that, it was just a bit of a break. It’s that bit of escapism. No-one judges you, everyone’s supportive,” says Paul.