Lynn Vowels - Extra Time Hub
Lynn has been attending the Extra Time Hub with Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) for the past two years. Lynn was encouraged to attend the Hub by her friend, Gill, who was also a member.
Lynn was reluctant at first as she was grieving the loss of her husband, who had sadly passed away in October 2018.
“I lost my husband in the October and it was about five/six months after that I came to the Extra Time Hub.
“I went and I’m glad I did, because it has helped me,” explained Lynn.
Lynn was very thankful for the support she received from the Hub and CACT staff, most notably Special Populations and Older People Co-ordinator Matt Phillips.
“Matt, he’s been fabulous, he makes you feel good when you go and even on Zoom he makes you feel welcome and it has made me feel like I could mix with people.
“It was somewhere I could go because after losing my husband I felt quite lonely and on my own but going to the Hub made a difference, meeting other people. They listened if you wanted to chat and it was nice to meet other people.”
Lynn describes the Hub as a “second family”, explaining that “they make you feel so welcome and it did change me because I felt I wasn’t on my own, I could go and get out, because I was just staying indoors before and not going out at all and it just made a complete difference.”
Having been married to her husband for 44 years before his passing, Lynn reflects that she fell into a depression.
“I was lacking confidence because I did everything with my husband and when he passed away I just shut myself off from people. I had a bit of a hard time because it was sudden. I really went into a depression. Going to the Hub really help me come out of myself.”
The Covid-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown impacted the delivery of the Extra Time Hub.
“I was lost, going there every week and then all of a sudden you haven’t got them to talk to, although I had Gill to talk to and Lynn & Matt if I needed to. You feel so lost without that and I had to do so many isolations through this pandemic as well and it’s not nice when you’ve got to isolate and you can’t see anyone.”
However, CACT quickly arranged Zoom calls for the Extra Time Hub participants so that they could stay in contact with each other.
“On Zoom we do Bingo, quizzes and just have a laugh. To see Matt, he makes you feel so good. It’s nice and I glad I came on it, to feel re-connected.”
By attending the Extra Time Hub, Lynn was introduced to another programme CACT delivers, Nordic Walking.
“It’s nice and it’s good because others from the Hub also go.”
Lynn has come a long way since she first attended the Hub, and she now has a larger social network of friends she can contact.
“It’s necessary if you’re on your own and if you want to meet people, the best way to do it is go to the Hub where you can meet other people and they will be open arms to you, I would recommend it.
“I would say do it because it makes you feel happy and they welcome you with open arms.
“I think I would have just been sitting indoors if I didn’t come to the Hub”.
Click here to find out more about CACT's Extra Time Hub.