Longing to be included.

11 Jan

The “Wayside Community Centre”, is a voluntary Sector organisation, with registered Charity status. The organisation was Set up in 1990 due to the increasing number of people who were suffering from mental health illness. The organisation was a direct outcome of a weekly prayer meeting that I held in my home in 1987.

The charity was set up after overcoming some personal experiences that almost drove me insane. I found that no one was available to offer any support or comfort that could help me through this very painful time of my life. Upon realising that my own personal circumstance was not isolated, I decided to set up a support network that would help to heal, and restore the lives of those who have no voice, are broken, lonely, and isolated.

Since becoming a widow in December 2015, I’ve found out for myself the benefits of an Organisation like Wayside to those suffering losses. Having relocated to a new borough I was unfamiliar with the area, had nowhere to go and remained secluded in my home for a short period of time. Loneliness had become a companion I did not appreciate so I spent most of my time longing to be a part of “Wayside”. Since starting the organisation in 1989 it has been a big part of my life having worked tiredly to keep it going in the face of insurmountable obstacles and mental stress.

After spending the last twenty-six years working to create a welcoming atmosphere to the community I now realise how unique it is in the services offered to the elderly and the impact it has on the lives of individuals.

Times spent at the centre gives people the opportunity to be themselves. They socialise not only through the daily activities but through sharing stories, laughing, and even dancing as they reminisce on times gone by.(Having a good time is what we call it).

Being much older now I get very tired especially after being diagnosed with Angina. I may not be able to do much now, however, I make sure that  I get to the centre so I can do what I do best, supporting people through prayer, giving words of encouragement to those in distress, and just being there for them.

I thank God that He has brought us thus far enabling us to employ two full time and one-half time members of staff to keep the organisation going. Times are still difficult for us as our main source of income comes from our Charity shop

And some one-off donations. In my experience of feeling excluded from the community, it is my desire to see the organisation become financially stable so as to accommodate others needing somewhere to go for companionship in the future.

Looking forward to somewhere to go during the day definitely provides a positive contribution to a more fulfilled life as it gives people something of interest to look forward to –Itself a factor in preventing mental and physical health deterioration. Thus improving the quality of life.#inspiration

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