Sue Lines from the Tanyard Youth Project based in Pembroke, introduced me recently to Lorna Bond and the new group she has been instrumental in setting up, which meets on a Tuesday afternoon between 2 and 4.
It had been an accidental meeting just a few months ago between Sue and Lorna and the women hit it off immediately. As a consequence, Lorna’s idea to set up a group for people with mobility issues found a home.
Lorna told me about her life with spondylitis. Spondylitis is a serious and chronic inflammation of the vertebrae.
“I had major spinal surgery when I was 19.” she told me, but it didn’t stop her living a full life. She went on to obtain a diploma as a nursery nurse and worked for some years as a Dental Nurse, married and had her children and then grandchildren.
Five major spinal surgeries followed over the years. On the 4th she developed an infection which caused a leakage of spinal fluid. Lorna was very poorly indeed and spent 6 weeks in hospital in constant pain. She searched around for something to distract herself and being the warm hearted , open person that she is , she began to think about people like herself who were isolated by mobility issues.
The Fifth surgery left Lorna unable to weight bear and she is now a permanent wheelchair user. She told me that she has a number of health issues that have a huge effect upon her life but she felt it was important to find things to occupy herself.
“ Being dependant upon the use of a wheelchair can be very challenging,” she explained. “ A friend bought me the self propelling chair I am using at the moment. It’s great but its hard work. I ideally need a motorised chair so I can get out and about more independently. It’s not easy to get the equipment that people need to get out and about, so many people, of all ages, are isolated and lonely.”
That is why Lorna started ‘Bespoke Individuals,’ a place for people to come together, learn new skills, make friends and generally have a good time together. She is in the process of seeking funding so the club can grow and do more.
At the launch of the club in August ( 2019) I spoke to Pauline West who tells me that she cant walk very far. “I live in Jameston”, she explained, “and I had a mobility car which was taken off me. I had to go to Tribunal which is very stressful.” She was undertaking a swimming challenge for the charity Aspire when I met her and looking for sponsors.
Lorna’s Mum , who is a great supporter of her daughter told me that she is also challenged by mobility issues. “ The group is such a good idea. So many places are not accessible and it’s easy to become isolated. Between us this group can find activities and places where we can come together and support each other”.
Following the success of the launch with its abundance of raffle prizes in August, the group have been meeting at the Tanyard regularly
Of the latest meeting Sue of the Tanyard said, “Another amazing session today with lots of laughter. New members joining! Wonderful stuff and some amazing feedback for the group! Brilliant for networking. Do tell your friends.”
You can find the group on Facebook: Lorna Bond, Bespoke
The group meets at :
Tanyard Youth Project,
SA71 4EA Pembroke,