Lockdown has prompted many people to pursue new activities or rekindle hobbies to adapt to a new way of life. Here, we meet two customers who help us explore the wellbeing benefits of having a creative and positive focus. 

A cricket Umpire in the making

Alain, Catalyst customer

Alain, 82, has been a Catalyst customer for 24 years and lives in Bushey, Hertfordshire. Due to shielding, Alain couldn’t do his usual volunteering at a mobility shop and 

Shielding hasn’t deterred Alain though. He has kept busy, producing articles for Facebook page Spiritual Guidance for Veterans. The page supports veterans, aged from 22-88, with anxiety, depression, stress and addiction. They have said to this articles help them. 

Alain decided to harness his passion for cricket (since the age of 4) to start an Umpire qualification. His experience includes being taught how to umpire by Dickie Bird OBE, how to bowl by Freddie Trueman OBE and playing for numerous clubs including, including Yorkshire Colts and Watford Town. 

Alain said, I love cricket so much, it’s in my blood. I can’t run anymore, I can’t play due to age and disability, so the next best thing is to umpire – hopefully until I am 99!’  

Alain is well on his way to success and has been mentoring and umpiring local matches, as well as stage one, two and three of his England and Wales Cricket mentoring qualification. Go Alain! 

Kaye gets on her bike

Kaye, 87, lives in Littlemore, and has been a Catalyst customer since 1998.  

Not only has Kaye been keeping her mind active, she’s also been keeping her body active too. Kaye has always been athletic, so when lockdown hit, she set herself the challenge of cycling on her exercise bike three times a day. She completed 2.4 miles each time, which totals 7.2 miles a day! It’s also really helped Kaye’s wellbeing, she told us, ‘I can get as down as anybody else. Cycling is therapeutic and I would suggest it to many people, if they are able to do it.

Do it for yourself, not for anyone else. Take control with both hands and if it works out then fine and if it doesn’t, you haven’t lost anything. More than anything you have gained knowledge and fitness. It’s about determination. Cycling is therapeutic, and I would suggest it to many people, if they are able to do it.

Symbol of Hope

‘We’re told that the virus is slowly abating 
Hope upon hope it’s the end of our waiting 
Hope springs eternal is a wonderful rhyme 
How apt is that in this moment of time 
Hope we’ll get back to the world we once knew 
Not wearing a mask or to stand in a queue 
6 feet away from the person ahead 
Empty shelves are the one thing we dread 
How to feed both family and pets 
Is this really as bad as it gets 
If you could carry hope in your heart  
You’ll find your fear will slowly depart  
Love is the message to you 
that I send 
Hope is the answer in this world without end’ 
Poem by Kaye

Feeling inspired?

If you feel inspired to start a new hobby pr take up a volunteering opportunity in your local community but you’re not sure where to start, our activities to do at home and useful information pages could give you some ideas.

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