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Malpas woman pens poem to GP after alternative prescription

Audrey Thomas is enjoying sketching and Scrabble thanks to Brightlife

Malpas resident Audrey Thomas

A Malpas woman is ‘back to her old self’ thanks to the intervention of a charity.

Audrey Thomas, 88, became lonely after illness left her housebound for several months, and she lost touch with many friends and neighbours.

But a routine visit to Laurel Bank GP Surgery earlier this year proved to be life-changing, after her doctor referred her into a pioneering ‘social prescribing’ service run by a local Big Lottery funded project, Brightlife.

Brightlife’s social prescribing coordinator for Malpas, Louise Gough, helped Audrey to find local activities that she might enjoy and that would help her to meet new people – including an art club and a creative writing class, both run by the Brightlife-funded social enterprise, Community Compass.

Audrey was so grateful for the many new friends that she met through these new activities, she penned a heartfelt letter and poem to thank her GP Dr Emma Taylor and district nurse Gill Evans.

Audrey’s daughter Sue Wilks said: “The poem is true, she has always been a sociable type but in recent years she had become more and more reclusive, which was so unlike her.

“Thanks to Brightlife she is back to her old self again, but with more confidence because she’s found these new hobbies and friends. When I last saw her it was all she talked about!”

Co-founder of Community Compass Yvonne Boyle said: “Stories like Audrey’s are why Community Compass exists – to try and make a difference.

“Audrey has been coming to our clubs for a while now and it has been amazing to hear and see how it has helped her. Sadly, there are an awful lot more Audreys out there – but it’s our mission to find and help as many of them as possible to rebuild their lives and rediscover happiness.”

Audrey’s poem:

You’ve both given me my life back, may I say

Not with medicines in the usual way

Oh no!

You referred me to Brightlife

You’ve changed my life from what it had become

I just sat around just feeling glum

But that was before

You referred me to Brightlife

The first time I made a collage; tulips orange and red

“I see your granddaughter’s been” my carer said!

But now I’m getting better

Because you referred me to Brightlife!

I’ve learnt to write poetry, not just in rhyme

I’m loving it - writing it all of the time

How thankful I am

That you referred me to Brightlife!

I’ve started art lessons in Tilston Hall

In almost 89 years I’d never sketched at all

But I’m sketching now...

Thanks to Brightlife!

I’ve made new friends - met old ones too

So many, many thanks I send to you

I’ve got my life back!

Because you referred me to Brightlife

(AND I’ve found plenty of scrabble partners!!)

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