Ros’s story

Ros is a member of Winchester Go LD and she is 33 years old. Ros lives independently in a 2 bedroomed flat in Winchester. Ros’ parents live in France and her brother lives in London, so her friendships and support networks in Winchester have been vitally important, especially during the pandemic.

Prior to lockdown, Ros volunteered 3 days a week. On two of the days, she volunteered at the Winchester Discovery Centre with a toddler group doing ‘Rhyme time’ and on the other day, Ros helped out in the café. Since lockdown, Ros has become more stressed because she misses her voluntary work and her colleagues.

Ros said that the wellbeing course workshops with Compassionate Cuppa have made her feel “calmer and more peaceful, have better energy and feel less down”. It has made her feel good because she struggled with not seeing her friends during lockdown and so it was “good to get invited to things with friends”. Ros said that it has also enabled her to “weigh up the pros and cons and think about the good things”. She is now able to look at things in more “manageable steps”.

Learning about relationships was a key point in one of the workshops with Compassionate Cuppa. Ros has been in a relationship with another Winchester Go LD member for about a year. She said that the workshop taught her that “communication is key… it is good to talk to each other and hear each other’s point of view”.

During the course, Ros particularly enjoyed learning about the calories in different foods and about caffeine in tea and coffee. Ros expressed that she has been drinking more water since taking part in the course. Ros also really enjoyed making her ‘self-soothe’ box and she said that it is something she uses every day! She uses emoji’s (which are small cardboard cut-outs representing different emotions) to express how she feels. Ros puts her emoji’s and labels into her ‘self-soothe’ box and it helps her to relax. Examples of different ideas in her self-soothe box include: films, classical music and having a bath with nice smellies. Ros explained that she wants more labels to be able to add new things to the box.

During lockdown, Ros has had her support hours reduced from 6 hours per week to 4 hours per week. She said that it would be good to have some more support hours. She has had some technical difficulties during lockdown but with the support of her parents virtually and support workers, these have managed to be rectified. Although Ros has been resourceful with the help she has been given during lockdown, it has still been a disproportionately difficult time for her due to the minimal support she has and the government restrictions in place which made it very difficult for Ros to have a social life. This was exceptionally important because Ros’ social life also doubled up as additional support for her – it was also an opportunity to talk to her friends about any problems or worries. The Compassionate Cuppa workshop gave Ros the opportunity to discuss any worries with her peers, when she otherwise wouldn’t have been able to during the lockdown.

Ros was extremely resilient during lockdown and was brilliant at bringing her peers together virtually – she instigated the creation of a ‘Whatsapp’ group for many of our members.

The mental health module total cost for 6 weeks was £3,020 this included the small group workshops with Compassionate Cuppa and our Zoom group sessions and health related advocacy during that time.

When Ros was asked what she thought about the Compassionate Cuppa workshop, she said “I think that the whole thing has been inspirational and what was learnt was very good to know… it translates well into everyday life”. Ros would like to do the workshop again and said that she would like more members to be able to take part so that they can learn too.

Ros top tip if something is getting too stressful is to “shake it in and shake it out”!