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Beryl's Cornbeef Sandwich

Updated: Apr 23, 2020

Last Sunday, we were due to host a 'Re-engage' Tea in our home. The plan was to bake (an annual occurrence for me), and share cake, sandwiches and most importantly company with 4-5 elderly people living in Bristol. I'd joined up when we moved to Bristol, not knowing many people and thinking how much lonelier it would be if I were decades on and less able to get about so readily. I also missed my emotional rock of a grandmother who died 7 years ago at the wonderful age of 104 and lastly I wanted Eliza to have the chance to exchange experiences with those who'd lived long full lives. Corona obviously put paid to the tea, but whilst my days have got busier managing home schooling and work, for our guests, confined to their houses and without their usual daily interactions, the world has got even smaller. We put in a call to one of our guests, Beryl. Having never met before, I called out of the blue. She sounded sprightly and incredibly upbeat. She told me she'd cooked herself a corn beef in bread crumbs the night before, finding a tin in the cupboard and realising that if she propped herself up against the counter she could cook. Her sons were delivering food to her but it was all organic and she didn't like the taste. At the end of the call Beryl told me she was 93, and the eldest in the tea group. It was only a 10 minute exchange if that but as she said, we'd now met. Re-Engage's work to fight loneliness amongst the elderly is ever more critical during Corona - They've launched an initiative to call their members and are looking for volunteers- Please sign up if you can:

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