Peter’s Story – Case Study

Staying Well Team Supports Men’s Health through befriending program

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  • Service Area: Community & Wellbeing
  • Program: Staying Well – Befriending
  • Values: We Care & We are Committed

Halifax Opportunities Trust’s Staying Well project is a valuable service for many vulnerable, lonely and isolated people in the local community. Reaching out to those who find leaving the house a challenge, Staying Well’s befriending team supports people both mentally and emotionally; building trust and creating a sense of community.

Peter’s Story: Loneliness can often be caused by situations out of an individual’s control, such as physical health, which was further compounded by restrictions imposed through the COVID pandemic.  This was the case for Peter*, who was referred to the Staying Well Project in March 2020.   

Protecting Health

Peter lives independently. He has severe asthma and a very complex bowel condition, which means he has to follow a very strict dietary plan.  In the early stages of the pandemic, Peter was identified as a vulnerable citizen due to his health conditions, and was therefore instructed to isolate.

Having to self-isolate meant that Peter was no longer able to visit the gym, which was a big part of his life as he attended up to five times a week, before the pandemic. This, and his limited friend and family network, meant that he became isolated and lonely. 

Staying Well and Keeping Active

Peter became quite emotional because of his situation and required regular phone contact “to keep him sane”.  Through not being able visit the gym, Peter to suffered from low moods and found himself feeling anxious and bad tempered at times. 

The Staying Well team suggested for Peter to follow YouTube exercise videos like Joe Wicks, as an alternative, which made a difference to his mood, but he required motivation during his befriending calls. The Staying Well team supported Peter by keeping him focussed on his exercises at home, something that was an outlet for his anxiety.

Emotional and wellbeing support

Through building trust with Peter, the Staying Well team discovered he was also in a difficult financial situation, which affected his benefits claims. As a service that is flexible to the needs and support requirements of each individual, the Staying Well team were able to assist Peter with weekly food parcels from a food bank set-up at Hanson Lane Enterprise Centre during the pandemic.

Supplying essential food ensured Peter had fewer outgoings, relieving his financial situation somewhat, until he started to receive benefits. To ensure his financial circumstances were resolved quicker, the Staying Well team also arranged for Peter to contact the benefits office, who approved an emergency loan.

Making positive changes

An outstanding concern for Peter was that due to his health conditions and vulnerability in relation to COVID, he would only be able to work from home and wasn’t sure whether this would be supported by his employer.

The Staying Well team helped Peter overcome any concerns by assisting him with speaking to his employer, where it was agreed that Peter could work part time from home. Having the freedom to work in the comfort of his home made Peter feel more positive about his work life, which also improved his overall wellbeing.

A better outlook

The Staying Well team keep in touch with Peter to ensure he is still in a positive mindset and enjoying his new way of working.

Peter commented: “The support I received from Staying Well at a time I was at my lowest made me feel better and more focussed on recovery from my illness, and the stress caused from work. I am very grateful for the support.”

*Name and image changed to protect individual’s identity.

For more information about the Staying well programme and the many services it delivers, such as befriending, please head to the Staying Well page…