Nigel and Mandy’s story

Read about Nigel and Mandy's Compassionate Neighbour’s story and how it has positively impacted both of their lives.

Nigel and Mandy’s story

“Mandy is a breath of fresh air. She’s good as gold, a real angel. We couldn’t have been matched more perfectly.”

Community Member, Nigel, has limited mobility due to his multiple health conditions and has been supported by his Compassionate Neighbour, Mandy.

Nigel says:

“I live on my own and it can be very lonely. I am on oxygen all the time, and have limited mobility, which can be very isolating. I speak to my sister on the phone every night and my other sister comes to visit once a week, but I can go a whole week without seeing anyone else.

“I do sometimes go to courses at the hospice which is nice, and it was when I was doing the Living Well programme that one of the Rennie Grove Peace nurses asked me if I would like to have some companionship from a Compassionate Neighbour.

“I was sceptical at first as I didn’t know what the person would be like and whether we would have anything to talk about. But when Mandy arrived, we hit if off straight away and we talk about everything and anything.

“Mandy’s visits break up the week for me. It gives me a chance to relax and have a chat. When you’re living on your own you don’t get the opportunity to do that very often.

“It is sometimes hard to talk to my family about my health struggles, but I can tell Mandy exactly how I’m feeling and if I’ve had a bad day. It’s nice to talk to someone who isn’t family as I can be honest about how I’m feeling. Mandy always has time to listen.

“Mandy gives me a sense of purpose when I talk to her. She is supportive and asks me how I feel. If I’ve had a couple of bad days, I can talk about it with her and it takes a weight off my shoulders. If I ever feel a bit low, she arrives with a big smile on her face, and it brings me up. It’s nice to have someone I can relate to.

“Mandy is a breath of fresh air. She’s good as gold, a real angel. We couldn’t have been matched more perfectly.”

Mandy says:

“We tend to sit together in his living room and chat, and despite the age difference, we have loads in common. We both love country and western music and by my second visit we were singing together. We are also both obsessed with prison and police programmes on the TV! We are both very curious as to why people choose to make certain decisions in life and what their mindsets are, so we love a good debate! Nigel tells me stories of when he was younger and what he got up to, and we sometimes look through old photos, which I love.

“We often chat about Nigel’s week, where he has gone and who he has seen. Nigel’s mobility is limited due to his various conditions. Although he can walk around the house, he uses a mobility scooter when he goes out. He is a keen gardener (as am I), and although he finds it more of a challenge these days, he refuses to give up, and I admire his resilience and cheerful demeanour.

“Nigel also talks to me about end of life and how he feels about it. These are subjects he sometimes struggles to speak to his family and friends about. I think this really helps him process and come to terms with what is happening to him. He also knows that he can trust that our conversation is in confidence.

“Nigel is normally upbeat during our visits, but sometimes I know he gets sad. He often says that he looks forward to my visits all week. I think I help lift his mood as I am a positive and upbeat person. I love hearing his lovely, funny chuckle; we really do laugh and have fun together.

“I personally get a huge amount from my friendship with Nigel. For me, when I hear someone say, ‘You really make a difference to my life’ it makes it all worth it. I am lucky that he expresses his feelings towards me and his gratitude for our friendship. Over a month ago, Nigel gave me a thank you card with such beautiful words saying how much our friendship means to him. I was really touched by that, and the card is still on display! Nigel often says, ‘I’ve struck gold finding you!’ and I feel that way too – we were super lucky with our match, and we know it!

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