ICA meets some truly wonderful older people during the course of its work. Their lives and experience never fail to surprise and inspire us and we are truly proud to have the opportunity to get to know and support them. Here are just a couple…
Silver Island – Client, Glenys
Total interactions for 2017-18 = 278
Glenys was born in a small village in South Wales in 1923. She married a local man, Terry, who she had known all her life. After the war, aged 29, Glenys moved to Portland when her husband’s family decided to swap working in the pits for something more coastal.
Glenys worked at Portland Hospital as a nursing assistant until she retired at 60. Supported by ICA, Glenys and a friend then founded the Portland Hospital Volunteer Hospital Trolley Service. Glenys continued to volunteer on this until her mobility became too poor.
It was through her voluntary work for ICA that Glenys, “Knew where to turn, when I got infirm myself. I’d be more or less housebound without ICA.”
Glenys now attends ICA’s Get Together Club, lunch clubs, trips and shopping service. She feels these activities have improved her health and wellbeing, “…because they get me out. If I was inside I’d get depressed. At the ICA clubs I meet people, eat lovely food and have fun – I love it!”
She is also a regular user of the ICA Community Car, “It takes me to my doctor’s appointments and to Tesco, so I can get my food shopping. The volunteers are 100% professional and pleasant and I’m always treated with respect.”
In December a volunteer driver took Glenys to Cambridge so that she could spend Christmas with her sister.“Without ICA, I would have had to spend over £200, get two taxis and change trains twice with all my luggage, or, not go at all and spend Christmas alone. It really was a Godsend for me. The driver was so kind. He let us stop several times for food and toilet breaks and helped me in with all my luggage. I can’t recommend the ICA car enough.”
Silver Island – Client, Sheila
Total interactions for 2017/18 = 126
Shelia grew up in a small village outside Stafford. She lived there until the age of 14yrs, when she went into service at the country estate of Lady Helen Smith, Countess of Salisbury.
When the manor house was taken over by the WRVS in WII, Sheila moved back home to be close to her parents. Not long after and just before the end of the war, she attended a local dance where she met David. They married nine months later.
Life was great for a while. Sheila and David had three sons and Sheila worked part-time as a GP receptionist. She loved the job and made some good friends amongst the rest of the team.
Unfortunately, however, tragedy struck twice when Sheila and David lost two of their children, one at 5yrs and the other at 22yrs. Both died in tragic accidents. Shelia recalls the event as if it were yesterday, “Even though it happened a long time ago now, it’s not something you ever get over, I still miss them and think of them every day. It’s not right for a mother to bury her children. It makes you hard.”
Although life went on, Shelia stuck close to her remaining child Brian. When he was offered an engineer position in Weymouth (after leaving the Navy), he was keen for his parents to move closer, so he could keep an eye on them too.
She says, “We hated it when we first moved here, we were used to our little village in the countryside you see. It took a while to be accepted. I don’t think my husband ever settled, but eventually I made some good friends who were there for me when he died after 55 years of marriage.”
Shelia’s friend and neighbour introduced her to ICA, by encouraging her to attend the Senior’s Christmas Lunch. She said, “As I’ve got older and found it more difficult to do the things I used to, ICA has always been there for me. Although my son Brian lives with me, he still has his own life and job, so it’s good not to have to depend on him for everything. Thanks to ICA I have my own life too and they keep me independent.
I don’t know how I’d cope without ICA, my life would be so miserable. I wouldn’t get out and about. I’d be stuck indoors. The volunteers are always so kind and friendly, at the lunch club they’ll do anything to help you and the office ladies are always so courteous.”