Today marks the halfway point through Epilepsy Awareness Week, and with this year’s theme of #BeyondCOVID we wanted to get our service users involved and find out their personal challenges, achievements, and goals they have experienced throughout the last 12 months. This week, we are glad to have seen an increase in awareness that has been raised for epilepsy, along with more guidance and research to ultimately remind those affected by epilepsy that you are not alone.
We asked three of our Gunnersbury Avenue residents Michelle Rice, 46, who has been with us for 9 years, Peter Cole, 58, who has been with us for 6 years, and Bobby Aujlay, 47, who has been with us for 3 years the following questions:
What is one thing that you have found challenging in the last 12 months?
Michelle answered that not being able to see her family has been a real struggle for her over the course of COVID-19, whilst Peter answered that he has struggled with being stuck in the house, which we are sure is a feeling many of us can resonate with. Usual hobbies and routines have been thrown off, however inside activities in our residential homes such as BBQ’S, karaoke, and board games have helped everyone to feel less socially isolated. Bobby has also found it hard to be separated from his family, and also not being able to visit any local café’s for some delicious food and social atmosphere.
What have you achieved in the last 12 months?
In the last 12 months, Michelle was proud to let us know that she has been taken on at the Gunnersbury Museum for a voluntary position. This is excellent news and a great way to gain experience and have social interaction throughout the pandemic. Peter has taught himself to have a lot more patience and has learnt to cope with stressful situations a lot better, these are skills which will definitely come in handy in the future. Bobby has used his time wisely by cutting down smoking cigarettes and has made the switch to vaping instead, this is also great news, and we are so pleased that Bobby is independently making healthier decisions.
What is the one goal you have for after COVID-19?
For Michelle, being able to see her family again is the main goal for after COVID-19. Now with our visitor policies becoming less restrictive, we hope that Michelle has been reunited with her loved ones again. For Peter, getting back to some normality in his everyday life and becoming more independent by going to the shops for himself is the main priority on his agenda. Bobby’s goal is to finally be able to stay overnight at his mum’s house again. We can’t wait to find out if Michelle, Peter and Bobby achieve these goals!