Move Mates Stories: Jo and Elaine

Jo has been walking with Elaine and building up her confidence in leaving her home. They have worked together to plan small steps.

Jo has had anxiety for as long as she can remember, and finds walking with Elaine really helpful as it gives her confidence

Jo doesn’t know what started her anxiety, but it developed into agoraphobia and lockdown made it worse. Because she doesn’t know what started it, it can be hard to identify why it can sometimes be worse. Before starting walking with Elaine, Jo could get herself to her front door but couldn’t go out. She was only able to venture further when somebody came to meet her.

Jo used to look out of her window and see people going past, and really want to be able to do it too but she would freeze after opening the door. Working with Elaine, Jo has worked through a number of small steps to help gain her confidence. For example, Jo has recently been to the hairdressers. Initially, they saw the hairdressers from across the street, then on the next walk they walked past it when it was shut. The following week they walked past it when it was open, and then when they went past again, Jo was able to see it was quite empty and go in to make an appointment. Elaine’s patience and reassurance has helped to make these small steps possible.

Jo still finds herself wondering how she’s managed to do it, and feels she’s come a long way from being stuck at her front door. This week she has gone out by herself and made it as far as the entrance to the park. Her next goal is to make it inside.

“She’s an absolute godsend to me. To anyone thinking of requesting a Move Mate, go for it!

Jo, participant

Jo, pleased with her new haircut
Jo at the hairdresser. 'I was very nervous but I am so glad I did it!'
Jo successfully going into a shop independently
A successful trip into a shop whilst on a walk with Elaine

¬†“I enjoy walking with Jo, they self referred to Move Mates and have been keen to overcome barriers to achieving personal goals. It is wonderful to see the progress they have made over the past few weeks.”

Elaine, Move Mate Volunteer

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