Places of Welcome - Ron's Story

Places of Welcome across the country are starting to open their doors again. It has been a long time since our communities have been able to come together and connect over a cuppa. As Places of Welcome reopen, it's good to remember why these safe places in the community are so vital. Read, with his permission, Ron's story....

Ron Bentley All Ages CROPPED
Ron Davies

Ron was referred to Bentley All Ages Activity Centre, Place of Welcome by his daughter after she expressed concerns for his health and well-being.

Ron had recently lost his wife to cancer and had become very insular and isolated. He had also lost a daughter to cancer and the daughter seeking support for him had, herself, undergone surgery for cancer and was waiting for the “all clear”. The impact on her father had been enormous as he felt he had not protected his family and he could not control what was happening to his family. He had become frail; didn’t leave the house and he too became ill with cancer.

Ronald came along to the Place of Welcome, made friends and spoke openly about his bereavements and his concern about his daughter. He spoke of his feelings and the loneliness he felt since losing his wife. He was happy to begin by attending the Place of Welcome coffee morning but quite quickly joined other social activities and luncheon clubs.

As time went on, Ron became more and more confident, becoming one of the larger characters at the centre. So much so, that when we approached him about becoming a befriender he was absolutely delighted. We put Ron through an online qualification. Ron had never used a computer, so we attached another of our befriending team to him that was also doing the qualification, and they navigated the course together. Ron proved to be a very willing student and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Ron has now become the clown of the befriending team and his daughter’s concerns have changed from worry about his health and mental health, to “don’t be out too late and behave yourself”.

Ron says he has found a life for himself that has allowed his daughter to return to work without concern for him. He greets everyone that comes into the coffee morning and other activities, putting them at their ease, offering a hand of friendship. His skills and service have become invaluable. We are pleased to say, that both his daughter and Ron have now been given the all clear from cancer.

What a wonderful example of how attending a Place of Welcome can not only enrich your life, but also the lives of those in your community. For more information about Place of Welcome visit www.placesofwelcome.org.uk and for more information about Bentley All Ages Activity Centre please visit their website Old Hall Peoples partnership | Walsall (ohpp.org.uk) or Facebook page (5) Bentley All Ages Activity Centre | Facebook