Gizella and Raj’s Story

Gizella has been a Community Member with us at Rennie Grove Peace since 2022 and has found support from her Compassionate Neighbour, Raj, to be fulfilling in more ways than one.

Gizella and Raj’s Story

A blossoming friendship

Gizella has been a Community Member with us at Rennie Grove Peace since 2022 and has developed a touching friendship with her Compassionate Neighbour, Raj, who has helped support her.

Gizella says: “I have no family here – my husband passed away, and my son moved to Germany. I went through Chemotherapy on my own, without my family around me. Lucky for me, Raj was here to support me.   

“My immune system is very weak, so I have become very isolated, which makes me depressed. Raj is a positive presence in my life. He helps me to look at the positive things about my life. When I am struggling mentally, I notice that my physical health deteriorates, so having my body and brain in balance really helps.  

“The other day when my washing machine was leaking, he came over and organised a plumber to come and fix it. Raj always helps me to fix any problems with my computer, so I can keep in touch with my son and other family. When you are isolated by illness, the internet is such a lifeline to the outside world.   

“Raj is so friendly; he is like a son.  I love it when he brings his kids with him, they are such lovely children. I feel a bit like a grandmother, which gives me so much joy. Raj has given me a second family. When he goes abroad for work, he always says I can call his wife for help. I never have, but it makes me feel safe knowing I have someone there if I need them.  

“I am so grateful to Rennie Grove Peace as I feel very lucky to have Raj in my life.” 

Raj says: “I’d always promised myself that after my kids grew up, I’d spend more time giving back to the local community.  After recently seeing two grandparents struggle in their final months of life, I felt that helping others through those tough and sometimes lonely times would be really fulfilling.    

“We tend to mix up home visits, where we chat over a cup of tea and snacks, with walks out in the local park – when the weather permits!  

“One of the most helpful ways I help Gizella is solving any technical challenges she may have – like internet glitches. Having the internet is a lifeline for her as it means she can video call with her family abroad, which is important for her well-being. 

“Gizella has met both of my kids and loves when they occasionally visit her with me. They are very fond of her biscuits and treats! This broader sense of family and company of young children gives a sense of support and purpose, particularly as her grandchildren live abroad. 

“We often talk of Gizella’s past, her family, late husband, and her work. With Gizella living alone this is an important outlet for her – it focuses her on moving forward and thinking about a more positive future.”