“The Extra Time hub has given me my husband back. You can’t put a price on that.”
Catherine Huckfield believes that support provided by Shrewsbury Town in the Community’s social group for older adults has been the making of her husband Roy.
Having previously represented Team GB at the Olympic Games and finding his purpose in life through work, Roy was accustomed to dedicating his skills to a single purpose and persevering to reach his goals.
As a result, he found the transition after retirement tough, which led to him becoming lost and without a sense of belonging.
However, he has been able to regain his confidence and has flourished since receiving a flyer advertising Shrewsbury’s Extra Time Hub – which aims to decrease social isolation and increase physical activity – in 2019.
“Before I retired, I’d been working abroad for 16 years, so when I came back to Shropshire, I’d lost contact with a lot of the friends that I had,” says Roy.
“The Extra Time Hub allowed me to meet lots of new friends and do lots of activities that I wouldn’t have thought about doing. It’s brought me back to life.”
After quickly becoming an active member, Roy then helped to set up a new technology club and is now a volunteer at the Trust, passing on his tech expertise through demonstrations and lessons.
He continues: “The IT club started because there were people wanting to learn things about that and we decided it would be a good idea to try and start something up on a Tuesday morning.
“To be able to help somebody to do something, even if it’s something simple, makes me feel absolutely wonderful. It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me because it got me out and meeting people, doing things and feeling confident again.”
Roy’s confidence has increased to such an extent that he now works for the Shropshire Council, doing one-to-one IT work with them on Wednesday mornings.
Wife Catherine adds: “He was a bit lost because when you stop doing something that you know you’re good at, you find yourself wondering what your purpose in life is. Now, he’s got a purpose again and it’s helped him to rebuild his confidence.
“He enjoys coming and mixing with people, his skills in the computer world have been recognised and I think he’s been able to achieve what he’s always wanted to, which is to help people with their queries.
“It’s given him back his self-worth and that’s great because I’ve got the old Roy back and that’s all I can ask for.”