I went to the pub in Woodhouse every lunchtime. That was my life. It still is to a certain degree. I thought that it was OK to be honest. I used to go home early evening, have a quick bite to eat and then just watch some TV until bedtime. Aside from a couple of people in the pub I didn’t really speak with anyone else apart from staff in the local shop.
“The evenings were quite lonely”
I came into contact with Caring Together when they were having a meal out at my local. One of the staff came over to the table where me and a couple of mates were drinking, gave us some leaflets and had a quick chat about what Caring Together did and that they were planning to organise various outings in the city centre. We thought that it was a bit amusing to be approached liked that, but I gave them my details anyway
I suppose that what helped is that they sent me details of outings that were planned and also their newsletter. As it happened, I had a benefits review coming up and was a bit worried about that - they helped me through that process.
Then I had a call from them reminding me about a trip out for a meal in town. I was a bit hesitant as my other mates from the pub didn’t want to go, but I went anyway and it was nice and relaxed and I really enjoyed it.
I have been out for two meals and also to the cinema, something that I hadn’t done since I was a kid. I have also met up a couple of times in the centre with another man who attends some of the outings. He doesn’t drink so we have just gone for a coffee. Again, this is something that I have never really done before. We chat about football, particularly the old days going to Leeds matches. I have also suggested to my mates that we go occasionally into town for a pint for a change, which we have done. Again, it’s nice to have a change of scenery.
“It’s nice to have a bit of variety in my life.”
You have more to talk about. I went out last week into town by myself, just walked about like, looking in the shops. I definitely feel a bit happier. I still go out for a pint most days, but some days now I don’t and it’s good to have a break from it at times. I helped deliver some newsletters around the area after Christmas. It’s good to be able to help them out
It’s good to give something different a try. Life can get dull and boring if you just do the same things all of the time. It’s also good to meet other people, men and women. Some of them I’d seen before around the area but never really spoken to.
“ I find myself bumping into Caring Together members all of the time in the streets and have a natter with them.”
It can be easy to just get stuck in a routine and sometimes it’s just easier to keep doing the things that you always do. It’s nice when you try something new. You wonder why you hadn’t done it before.