A debilitating back injury meant Gordon had to stop working when he still had lots to offer. After attending watercolour classes for a while, he realised he could help to deliver the classes, and now takes part in other activities at church.
“Work finished overnight. I didn’t want it to, but it just did. But I’d always gone out and done things so that’s what I kept doing. 8 years ago, there was lots to do, courses everywhere, but then everything changed, funding disappeared, and courses too.
So I was looking for something to get me out, looking around for ages and by coincidence a friend told me about this painting class for £1, so I tried it and have been coming ever since. What else can you do for a pound?
One day the tutor couldn’t come and the session was cancelled, so we said ‘Let’s do it ourselves’. Now when he’s off we look after the newcomers.
The social side is a bonus. I’ve met new people and made new friends, and keep in touch with some outside the activity. I’ve made bonds with people, real friendships. The people here are so nice I’ve started coming to church and was confirmed recently with other members of the painting group.
I volunteer at the church now, mainly church sitting during opening times, & recently they had me doing tours of the crypt! It beats sitting at home, and anyway, I like helping. I always say; if I can help I will, & if I can’t, I’ll try.”

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