A PRESCRIPTION with a difference has turned around the life of one Malpas resident.

Audrey Thomas, 88, has overcome loneliness after being housebound for several months, thanks to the GPs at Laurel Bank Surgery and charity Brightlife.

The pioneering “social prescribing” service helped Audrey find local activities that she might enjoy and that would help her to meet new people – including an art club and a creative writing class, both run by the Brightlife-funded social enterprise, Community Compass.

Audrey was so grateful for the many new friends that she met through these new activities, she penned a heartfelt letter and poem to thank her GP, Dr Emma Taylor, and district nurse Gill Evans for referring her to Brightlife.

“The poem is true – she has always been a sociable type but in recent years she had become more and more reclusive, which was so unlike her,” said Audrey’s daughter, Sue Wilks. 

“Thanks to Brightlife she is back to her old self again, but with more confidence because she’s found these new hobbies and friends. 

“When I last saw her it was all she talked about!”

Audrey's letter and poem

Dear Dr Taylor and Sister Gill Evans

My name’s Audrey. I’m 88 and live in Malpas. 

After a visit to Laurel Bank Surgery Malpas earlier this year, you referred me into Brightlife. I wanted to say a special ‘thank you’ to you – so I’ve written you a poem!

You’ve both given me my life back, may I say

Not with medicines in the usual way

Oh no!

You referred me to Brightlife

You’ve changed my life from what it had become

I just sat around just feeling glum

But that was before

You referred me to Brightlife

The first time I made a collage; tulips orange and red

“I see your granddaughter’s been” my carer said!

But now I’m getting better

Because you referred me to Brightlife!

I’ve learnt to write poetry, not just in rhyme

I’m loving it – writing it all of the time

How thankful I am

That you referred me to Brightlife!

I’ve started art lessons in Tilston Hall

In almost 89 years I’d never sketched at all

But I’m sketching now...

Thanks to Brightlife!

I’ve made new friends – met old ones too

So many, many thanks I send to you

I’ve got my life back!

Because you referred me to Brightlife

(AND I’ve found plenty of scrabble partners!)