How I learned to connect during lockdown

By Maeve
My name is Maeve. I joined Grow after seeing a poster in our local village hall in Trim in 2018.  When I joined Grow I felt very welcomed and at home straight away. I was 80 years old at the time, I felt very isolated and wanted to connect with others to help my mental health. Joining my Grow group gave me a sense of belonging and a program that helped me with day-to-day living. In March 2020, when Covid and lockdown happened in Ireland I was in my 80s, living alone, feeling isolated, I was really missing all my normal weekly activities.  Before Covid and lockdown, each day I had different activities, ways of getting out and staying connected, I played cards with friends once a week and attending my Grow meetings, socials and sometimes met with members for a walk and a coffee – this was such a big part of my week. I wouldn’t be very well up on technology, but I said I would give Zoom a try as I really missed my meetings and my Grow friends. I am so glad I did try. It was a great way to keep in touch with my program and friends’ and stay connected. I managed to get into my first Zoom meeting and soon settled in. The people on Zoom were just lovely and encouraged me to keep coming back each week and stay connected with them.  I also joined the group what’s- app and keep in touch by phone. I really love the Zoom meetings and they have helped me get through 2020/2021 so far. I am looking forward to the face-to-face meetings returning and hopefully soon we can have our meetings together again in the near future. I want to encourage everyone of my generation that might be missing their face-to-face meetings to give Zoom a go. It is a great way to stay connected and get your Grow meeting each week when we can’t meet for face-to-face meetings, stay connected, and keep going with weekly tasks and the program. “You alone can do it but you cannot do it alone” – Grow Program.
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