From being supported, to supporting others

Ellie’s story: Ellie is a single parent who struggles with anxiety and low self esteem, particularly in the pandemic when her usual networks were unavailable. Through regular walking, supportive chat and being there in difficult circumstances, Community Bees helped her turn her life around

Ellie’s Mum approached Michaela during the first lockdown saying her daughter, who is a single Mum, was struggling and wondering whether Community Bees could support her. 

After a quick phone call, Michaela and Ellie arranged to go for a walk the following week. 

On the walk Ellie admitted she was feeling low and isolated partly because the lockdown had seen her unable to go to her regular weight-loss group and she had re-gained the weight she had managed to lose the previous year. She had tried to carry on with the Zoom weight-loss group, but she felt uncomfortable with the format.

Michaela suggested they worked on their fitness together, walking every week initially, and then encouraging her back onto her weight-loss programme. Michaela also supported her with regular phone calls and dropped by for door step chats to check she was coping. 

“I enjoy the walks, the company and going for a coffee together.”

Slimming World reopened after the lockdown lifted and Ellie rejoined the group. Alongside the speed walking she began losing weight again and she started feeling happier and more positive about herself. Most weeks were a weight loss for Ellie, but even when she just maintained her weight, with support behind her, she stayed smiling and felt positive.  

When lockdown came again, Ellie this time managed to keep going with the online support group, and kept walking, despite her feeling more anxious. Her and Michaela remained in regular contact, and she continued to feel better. 

During their time walking Michaela and Ellie starting discussing how tough times were becoming financially for her and together they started to walk to the Foodbank. Ellie had felt too embarrassed to go on her own, but really valued the support she got there and the additional food helped her enormously on her low income.

“Your support has helped me with my health and wellbeing. You have helped me get back on my diet and losing close to 2 stone.You always come with me to the food bank which I really appreciate.”

Going to the Foodbank also gave Michaela the opportunity to support other people in the community who wouldn’t go to the Foodbank themselves, but benefited from the packages Michaela could collect for them. 

This got Ellie thinking. She suggested she helped Michaela carry and distribute the food to others in her neighbourhood.  She now does this on a regular basis, becoming a familiar face and support for those unable to get to the Foodbank themselves. 

Ellie has also asked if she can volunteer at Community Bees’ craft groups when they are back up and running, offering company and a helping hand to isolated people.  

Ellie has grown so much, moving from being a person supported to volunteering to support others. 

Next, when the better weather arrives, Michaela and Ellie are planning to revamp Ellie’s garden together with her young daughter daughter, bringing a new goal, extra fitness and a nice outdoor space into her life.

“[Your support] makes mum happy as she is sometimes sad.” Ellie’s daughter

And since November 2020 Ellie has lost 1 stone 4lbs and feels really good about herself.  

We are so proud of her and we think her smile says it all. 

Support us, so we can support more people just like Ellie

Ellie is fortunate to get support, but there are many other people who would benefit from our services. We rely on personal donations and grants to fund this project. 
If you can Support us to help others, please do.