Today we’re talking to Doreen, a service user from Holt Park Active and a former user of Naburn Court and Doreen Hamilton day centres, to find out what she thinks of the new centre.
Can you tell me what led you to Naburn Court and Doreen Hamilton Day Centre?
I had been in hospital three times when my GP recommended I went to Naburn Court. My doctor thought it would be good for me to meet some new people and to have someone to talk to; I must admit it did bring me out of my shell. It was nice at Naburn Court and Doreen Hamilton, but it wasn’t like this. I enjoyed going and playing bingo with my friends, but there were times when it was very quiet as a lot of people had stopped going. But for me, when I was poorly, it was ideal for what I needed them for.
What’s it like at Holt Park Active?
When I was asked if I wanted to go to Holt Park Active I wasn’t sure if I would like it. I was a bit nervous and I thought it was too far to travel. I was asked to give it a go and I did, and I loved it right from the first day!
It is a really nice place and it is a shame it wasn’t available right at the start when I was poorly. I really look forward to coming here and like to keep busy by getting involved in all the activities, there is always something to do. At the moment I’m learning to swim, doing arts and crafts, learning creative writing and I’m even learning how to use computers, which is something I didn’t think I would do – I get into everything. I also helped knit the Tour de France yellow jumper for the Black Prince.
I come four days a week and my husband is really supportive. I like coming here and he goes out with his friends and we get together on a night to tell each other what we have been up to.
It has taken me out of my shell, I get to see more people, and we even go out to the shops together. There’s no point sitting on your own and going to sleep in a chair – I would rather be here!
Are you glad you decided to go to Holt Park Active?
Absolutely! I was lucky as five of my friends came to Holt Park from Naburn with me, and because I used to go to Doreen Hamilton once a week, I know the ones that have come from there too. Since I have been here, I have made lots of new friends, as I say I’m lucky as I find it easy to make friends and I get on with anyone!
It opened my eyes coming here, I didn’t think it would be like this – it is such a beautiful place. I am even doing things I never dreamed of doing like learning to swim. I started to learn at school, but the teacher had a long pole (like they did in the old days!) and pushed me under the water and I was too nervous to continue! I am now taking lessons with my swimming partner, Alan – he’s in his 80s and is also a first time swimmer. I haven’t been able to swim for about six weeks as I had an operation on my foot but I can’t wait to get back in the pool. I am also looking forward to my first session in the hydrotherapy pool. Swimming helps me feel relaxed and I feel I have really achieved something!
Thank you to Doreen for sharing her experiences with us.
If you want to find out more about Holt Park Active, why not go and see for yourself? Or you can start by contacting Bridget Glynn, Day Service Manager at Bridget.Glynn@leeds.gov.uk.