This case study illustrates some of the support we gave to our members in this challenging time.
“I am from Somalia, and I come here 5 years ago to join my husband as a family reunion. I have been married to my husband for 16 years and have no children. I enrolled in RWoB 2 years ago, I wanted to learn English. My friend introduced me to the drop-in centre which is local to me.
In August 2020, my husband and I went back to Somalia to visit my family for holiday. One month later my husband got sick from Coronavirus and died on the 7th of October 2020. I come back to the U.K on my own the 22nd of October 2020 and came to a dark and empty house alone and I had to self-isolate for 14 days because of the pandemic. I could not speak English; everything was managed by my late husband when he was alive. After his death I had to pick up the pieces and cope and manage my life alone. It was hard I was grieving, sad, emotionally stressed. I was struggling with pain, and I was physically tired. The pandemic had so much impact. I was socially isolated because no one was allowed to visit me, no family, or friends to pay any condolences. I was grieving alone. After RWoB staff and volunteers called to see how I am, they helped by giving me the support I needed. They were there to listen to all my problems and help me make sense of what I am going through. They gave the chance to get things off my chest and let go of my distressing issues. This gave me some sort of relief.
The practical help RWoB offered me was they called me twice a week (welfare call) to see how I was managing. They helped me with my correspondence through interpretation and signposting me to the right agencies. They assisted me in re-ordering my prescriptions, they delivered shopping to my door, they gave me free food every Wednesday from the food hub and anything else that I needed help with.
I am trying to cope and manage my life. I feel more capable/independent with the support of RWoB staff and volunteers. It will take time to go back to some kind of normality but at moment I am trying to take one step at the time.
I used to lay in bed most of my days, I did not have enough energy. After RWoB contacted me, they have introduced me to activities to help me to occupy my mind and help me to stay active. Now I take part in yoga sessions on Tuesdays run by RWoB for their members online (via Zoom). I also got involved with WhatsApp groups run by RWoB where I can chat and listen to other members of RWoB. These sessions have helped me physically and mentally. I have more energy and I feel much better now.
They gave me the help and support to function again and to move on and take care and look after myself. They taught me how to stay positive. I am so grateful to RWoB for their help and support during this difficult time. I hope they will continue to get the funds to help more people.”
RWoB member March 2021