Valerie – Age 63

“I used to fear going out, then my friend persuaded me to try the Friday Friends Lunch. Now I go every week and have become one of the volunteers. I communicate with more people, feel a lot brighter and I don’t have that feeling of dread that I’m not needed anymore.”

I volunteer every Friday, I make cups of tea, serve up the dinner and help with the raffle and bingo. I had a fear of going out so my friend said just try it out and I’ve been coming about 6 months now. I now communicate more with people, I feel a lot brighter in myself, I don’t have that dread that you’re not needed anymore. Most of my life I’ve lived in Brighton, the people are so nice.

I’ve got 3 children, my eldest is 42 and I’ve just become a great grandmother, she’s 2 months old. We had a lovely day yesterday: I was at my daughter’s and my two sons turned up and they were all in the garden and I was seeing them as grown people but imagining what they used to be like. Family support is really important. I would tell my younger self to live a bit more and make the most of what you’ve got.