“I am a black African lady. I came to England in 2010. I used to live in London. When I came to Bristol, I heard about RWoB and joined them in 2017. I used to volunteer in the kitchen at the drop-in centre and attended some English classes.
When the pandemic started, I was really scared, terrified, and so depressed that I could not sleep, eat, or get out of bed. I have never heard or seen anything like this before, but I am handling it better now. I was isolated and did not have any physical activities to do which became boring. Things were accessed differently, but RWoB made activities fun and easy to access with support.
My challenge was not having enough income, so RWoB supported me with a lot of things like food vouchers, a laptop, and top-ups for the online activities that made life easier. The staff and volunteers regularly contacted me to ensure that I was okay. I took part in Zumba and Yoga weekly via Zoom and attended some courses online. I am happy, active, and less stressed now. I am sleeping well because of the support I received from RWoB. I can go and walk around now, and the physical activity changed my life. My muscles are working better, and my brain is thinking clearly.
Also, I am part of a WhatsApp group to connect with other women, share experiences and support each other. I was so happy to meet other women online and socialise with them. I met a lot of amazing women and took many opportunities. I heard about a lot of things that happen in Bristol from chatting with women.
I understand the UK system better now. I also learnt different customs, traditions, and religious norms. This would not be possible for me without the resources and support that RWoB staff and volunteers gave to me which I am incredibly grateful for. I feel happier and confident in better managing my life.”
RWoB member – March 2021