You'll Never Walk Alone

Even in lockdown Presbyterian Support Otago staff kept working towards positive change, strong families, and healthy communities.

Janet York and Suzann McLeod, Club Enliven Dunedin's Day Programme Activity Assistants spent their lockdown time looking after Club Enliven clients and volunteers from the comfort of their couches.

Janet said that while some of her clients were a bit bored, in general they were fine; 'they're a very stoic bunch'. One thing she noticed is that some clients, who live alone, and normally come to Club Enliven Dunedin two or three times a week had very little to do during lockdown. They had very little engagement with others - they had carers coming, and people helping with groceries, but they couldn’t go for a drive, and they couldn’t do the usual activities where they're with other people.

Janet and Suzanne supported our Club Enliven clients and volunteers by texting Club Enliven volunteers once a week and calling all clients (60 of them!) twice a week, to make sure they were okay, and to reassure them that they hadn’t been forgotten. One client, Avis, told Janet that "you make people feel good when you talk to them".

Looking back on the lockdown, Club Enliven’s clients had some wry observations

Mabel said: "I want to come back as a grocer in my next life because they are doing alright!", Phylis says: she's "not going to wash my windows in case it upsets my bubble.", while George said he "knows he has to stay at home because he's over 70. Way over 70!"

Some clients came up with interesting ways to stave off boredom:

Elsie's neighbour came over and charged up her car battery for her, so Elsie drove up and down her driveway for a while to give the car a run, while John said he thought about watering the plants at First Church (the Manse - where Club Enliven meets) but he thought they might think he was a burglar.

And some had a new outlook on life:

"I'm all firing" says Lillian. "I'm going 15 rounds. Tinker (cat) has taught me how to do a left jab."  Meanwhile, over the garden fence, Fred and his mate decided that the reason people need so many toilet rolls is because they have to eat all the baked beans that they stocked up on!

Thank you, Club Enliven Dunedin clients, for showing us how to stay positive and active during lockdown, and we are delighted that you have now returned to the Manse to enjoy each other’s company and all your favourite activities.