Episode #1 of Our Heart2Heart Campaign
Friendship is at the heart of everything we do, and behind every friendship is a good story. A story of compassion and kindness, respect and understanding.
With more than 150 service users across the Greater Belfast area, Bryson Care One2One has brought together people from all four corners of the city to combat social isolation. Our service is personal, enabling, and inclusive so that vulnerable people are able to live independently in the comfort of their own home.
It’s the kind of face-to-face support that can restore confidence and ultimately boost personal well-being – both on the part of the Support Worker and the individuals they assist – leading to long-lasting friendships between one another. And they each have a story to share.
Sarah & Elaine
BRYSON: Sarah, how did you find out about the One2One service?
Sarah: “I was just looking to return to work. The kids are up a bit now and in school until 3pm and I thought it would be a good time to get back into the workforce. I quite like looking after people and caring for people – I want to make a difference. So, my mum actually sent me the link from Bryson, she works in the health centre, and here we are… three years later!”
BRYSON: And Elaine, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you found One2One?
Elaine: “Johnny, my social worker, recommended [One2One] to me. I’ve been with Sarah for three years now. I was supposed to have someone else, but they fell and broke their ankle. Then Sarah turned up and I thought, ‘oh no!’ [laughs].”
Sarah: “[Laughs] you’re supposed to play nice today!”
BRYSON: And how have you found the service so far?
Elaine: “Brilliant, really. I’m not very good in company – you know, when you get two or three people [in a room] I get tongue-tied and lost. One2One is excellent for me, because I can talk one-to-one with the Support Worker.”
BRYSON: What about you, Sarah? What is your experience of One2One?
Sarah: “Yeah, it’s good. I like the variety in it – no two days are the same. You know, one day you might go in and somebody’s in a good mood, then the next day they’re not. And I certainly love all the characters you meet.”
BRYSON: And Elaine, what would you say is the most important feature of the service?
Elaine: “Getting out and about, definitely. Having a wee chat, too.”
Sarah: “Awk, we have a good wee routine going, don’t we?
Elaine: “We do, yeah.”
Sarah: “If it’s not the doctor’s one week, it’s the hairdressers the next…”
Elaine: “Or the dentist!”
Sarah: “Ah, the dentist. That’s a fun little change of scenery, isn’t it?”
Elaine: “It is.”
Sarah: “It’s a good wee bit away. It would be quite hard for Elaine to get there without support. I mean, public transport is an absolute no-no, so having a car and being able to drive her to and fro really makes a difference.”
BRYSON: Or a plane! Elaine, I believe you’ve done a skydive with Sarah?
Elaine: “I did! There’s a wee certificate on the wall behind you.”
BRYSON: What was that like?
Elaine: “Brilliant! It was always something I wanted to do.”
BRYSON: And Sarah didn’t come up with you?
Elaine: “No! [Laughs] I think she was happier on the ground.”
BRYSON: Just to finish up – Sarah, what was it about One2One that appealed to you?
Sarah: Making a difference, I have to be honest. I like helping people, I like being in the house… I mean, Elaine and I get along really well. It takes a little while to get used to, so it’s really nice to see the difference between then and now. I couldn’t call her ‘love’, and I was far too much energy in the mornings…”
Sarah: But in the past three years, we’ve done some pretty cool things together – Elaine’s skydive, for one. There are things Elaine wouldn’t have done last year that she’s now comfortable with. She’s able to visit the bowling club, so it’s really nice to see those friendships develop. Housework is all well and good, but it’s good to get people out and about, so they can do things they’re not normally doing… like jumping out of perfectly good planes!”
Elaine: “That’s right [laughs].”
Sarah: “She certainly balances me out, too. You know, there are times when I come in and I vent about the kids. ‘Oh, this one has done this and that..’ and Elaine is a good voice of reason.”
BRYSON: Words of wisdom…
Sarah: “It is. It works well. And we enjoy our time together.”
If Bryson Care One2One is something you’re interested in – either as a Support Worker or potential service user – don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call 028 9034 7731.