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Member stories

Mrs W’s Story

Mrs W separated from her husband after a long marriage. During her marriage most of the key decisions in the relationship were made by her husband. She didn’t work, her English was very poor and she found herself alone in a strange country with very limited skills and confidence. Her family were unable to support her and she had no one to turn to.

Sandy Wu-Grant, BEMSCA’s Chinese Outreach Worker, provided vital support to Mrs W so she could cope with the huge changes that have taken place in her life. She has arranged meetings with the local social housing provider to discuss Mrs W’s new circumstances and ensure that she received appropriate housing. She translated the local bus timetable and explained which bus routes she would need to attend doctor’s appointments. This was a big challenge for Mrs W as she had never travelled alone on public transport before.

BEMSCA also helped Mrs W set up her own bank account and discussed with appropriate social service department what benefits she would be entitled to claim.

Mr S’s Story

Mr S, an elderly member of the West Indian community, has a progressive form of Alzheimer’s which requires ongoing support for him and his wife. BEMSCA has provided significant support to the couple to help them cope with the impact of this condition. This included attending meetings with the family and appropriate care services to discuss Mr S’s needs. Mrs S chose BEMSCA as a place of support for her husband during the day as she felt it was a safe place for him. BEMSCA staff have attended many meetings with Mrs S and her family and appropriate agencies to secure support at home including help in the mornings to provide daily living support, dressing and personal one to one care.

Mr S’s Alzheimer’s has become more advanced and Mrs S has needed more specialist help to manage this. With support from BEMSCA, the family found suitable specialist day care that can offer Mr S all the support that he requires. Charity staff attended an initial viewing of the centre and supported Mrs S while she adapted to the changes for both her and her family.

Mr and Mrs O’s story

Mr and Mrs O are an elderly Asian couple who speak little English and have suffered from deteriorating health. They have no family to call on and have looked to BEMSCA for support with a number of issues. Meenu Manro, BEMSCA Asian Outreach worker, has helped with translation of a variety of important documents including car insurance, driving licence, passport and immigration issues; set up meetings to discuss needs with local power and amenity offices; helped set up a new bank account and taught them basic computer skills so they could begin online shopping.