It all started with Beryl's Blue Bus. A few years ago, Beryl noticed an unusual wagon off-loading shoppers outside her local Sainsburys and enquired who the bus was for. She learned that this was one of the many helpful services provided by Communities 1st and, now in her late 80s, Beryl is so pleased that she discovered them. Since her husband Ron passed away seven years ago, Beryl has lived on her own with a number of health challenges. She now relies on Communities 1st’s assistance for shopping trips and getting to her hospital appointments.
Born in Willesden as an only child, Beryl has had a colourful and loving upbringing, enjoying the attention of nine uncles and aunts whilst her father was serving in the army with the 'Desert Rats'. During the war she was evacuated to Norfolk for nearly two years, and had to sleep in Baker Street Underground Station at one point! Beryl left school to become a shopworker, progressing into the printing trade to become a manager for a company producing everything from advertising posters to Heinz Baked Beans labels. These were happy times that Beryl recalls with fond nostalgia.
Raising children kept Beryl busy for the next phase of life, until her two sons married and moved to London and the Isle of Wight whilst she and Ron settled in South Mymms. A return to work, now with the Gas Board, enabled them to retire comfortably, with Beryl enjoying pastimes of knitting and tapestry until failing eyesight prevented such activities. Now, dependent on a walking frame for mobility, Beryl contents herself with watching crime dramas and struggling with word puzzles - not the easiest pursuit when you suffer from dyslexia! Rattling 16 tablets down every day does nothing to suppress her cheerful personality. Beryl hugely appreciates the support she receives from Communities 1st. The people are "all very, very nice" she says, always enjoying the contact and the little jokes that brighten her days.
Written by D.J.R.