40 Faces of Brendoncare – Roger and Sheila Wiltshire

Written by: Alison Reijman Published: March 19, 2024

Roger and Sheila Wiltshire, who have been married for 54 years, say they have got their lives back thanks to Brendoncare. They became club members after a very difficult time during the pandemic.

Because illnesses have left him with a suppressed immune system, Roger had to shield for nearly three years during the Covid pandemic. This meant that throughout this period, he was completely housebound and unable to see other people apart from Sheila.

Sheila explains what this entailed. “During lockdown, we were supposed to stay in one room with the door shut. I had to leave meals outside his door with no contact. It really was isolation for both of us, and we were not really supposed to use the same bathroom, but that’s a bit difficult when you have only got one.

“When I was allowed to, I went out shopping to the supermarket, but you always have the fear that you are going to bring home some infection with you. It was really tough, but luckily, we did not get Covid.”

After nearly three years, Roger was told he no longer needed to shield. But, he said: “But I did not want to go out afterwards. I was too scared to meet people again.”

Courage

However, Sheila knew Jean, one of the volunteers at Brendoncare’s Andover clubs, who told her about the indoor kurling club.

Roger said: “We thought about it for several weeks before we plucked up the courage to start coming last November. It really did worry me to begin with as I had not seen anyone for three years apart from Sheila.

“Now I come to the kurling club, the quizzes on Tuesday and the social club on Fridays.

“Everyone made us feel very welcome. The first time I came, it was all women, but I braved that and came back!”

“We think it is the best thing we have done for a long time as we have met a lot of lovely people and it has given us the confidence to rejoin society,” adds Sheila.

Laugh

Roger continues:”It is very much a social event for both of us and has got me back into meeting people, having a good laugh and some great conversations.

“Brendoncare really has given us our lives back. I don’t know what else we would have done without it.”