“I didn’t feel as if I was part of a community – until I came here. The Centre helped me find my life again”
Themes: Specialist advice; skills swap; community choir
A vibrant independent woman, Sharron’s life changed completely one day four years ago when she experienced a serious accident whilst at work. The accident left her with life-changing injuries requiring extensive spinal surgery and she became a wheelchair user and was registered disabled.
Her employer’s attitude was unsympathetic leaving her feeling isolated and unsupported and impacting on her mental health or ‘mind health’ as Sharron likes to call it.
Sharron’s GP at BBBC has been supporting her throughout her long recovery. In addition to the essential medical care, she was referred to a specialist legal employment advice service operated at the Centre and was assigned a skilled lawyer to fight her case.
As she began her rehabilitation, Sharron was referred to the skills swap service at the Centre and she soon found herself regularly supporting a homework club. She started attending regular coffee mornings and joined the crochet group. During a recent visit for a quick urine sample test at the GP surgery, Sharron was recruited to the Centre’s community Choir which she is really enjoying.
“The Centre must be the only place you can drop in a urine sample at the GP and end up joining a choir!”
Sharron was determined to regain her independence despite some paralysis and chronic pain. She is no longer using a wheelchair and looks forward to a time in the future when she will regain her full independence again and get back to work. In the meantime, Sharron participates in a patient group to support the GP practice and attends a regular pain group.
Her experience at the Centre was cemented by a recent time-bank celebration event in a luxury Canary Wharf hotel with friends she has made at the Centre. The participants were emotional about how far they’d come and hugged each other with tears in their eyes.
Sharron sums up “I literally owe my life to The Bromley by Bow Centre. I am a completely different person now; I have made so many lovely friends and feel part of an incredible community.”