Sharing the Bluebells

We are proud to work with many individuals who share the same motivation to help overcome loneliness in a range of creative ways. Some of the wonderful people we are proud to call ‘Friends’ of the Charity are featured on our website But today we wanted to put the spotlight on Charlotte Evans aka Story Chaplain.

Charlotte has been working with us for many years now helping us to develop our service to be come more dementia inclusive. If you haven’t heard of Story Chaplain before please do check out her website As well as providing excellent consultancy services Charlotte joined us as a  volunteer befriender at the beginning of the pandemic. Following an encounter with her befriendee Jill, Charlotte wrote a really special reflective piece which we definitely think warrants a re-share!

Sharing the Bluebells (April 2020)

Today I spoke to my new Time to Talk Befriending telephone friend. Jill (name changed) has just turned 86 and is living with dementia. At the start of the call Jill was low and tearful, and shared, ‘If I’m honest, I’m depressed. So many people round the world are suffering right now, and it’s just awful’. We chatted about the challenges in the world, and shared how we were encouraged by Captain Tom, the 100 year old veteran raising funds for the NHS.

After we chatted a bit more about television (Eastenders), the British temperament (reserved), and favourite holidays we’ve enjoyed (Italy), I asked Jill what she could see out her window. She told me about a dandelion she’s had her eye on for the last few days, wanting to pick it, but not having the energy to leave the house. Jill said in the past her garden was her pride and joy and she spent every moment she could outdoors, especially this time of year. She said, ‘It’s all wild now, just awful’. I said I knew it wasn’t how she liked it or had kept the garden in the past, but that the overgrown look could be pretty, and it was definitely great for wildlife. Jill seemed unconvinced, and we started talking about seagulls, a conversation we often return to. In Brighton the seagulls are never far off, and always a solid talking point.

At the end of our call - which was just over half an hour - Jill sounded much brighter than she had at the start of the call. Our conversation had lifted my mood too, as we’d both been looking out our windows and describing all the signs of hope and greenery we could see.

Five minutes after our call, the phone rang. It was Jill. Thinking that something might be wrong, I answered the phone to hear Jill exclaim, ‘Bluebells! There are bluebells in my garden! I hadn’t seen them before before the curtain was pulled across the window! After our phone call I went into the back garden to see more, and there they all were. It was lovely, like being in the woods! They would never have grown before, I wouldn’t have let them!’

C.S. Lewis said that ‘delight is incomplete till it is expressed’. Jill calling me to share her joy at discovering the bluebells completed her delight. And not only her delight, it made my morning, too. What a joy to have a friend to share such a back garden discovery with, a sign of growth and hope that was there all along, waiting to be discovered.  

Who can you look out of the window with today? Open the window if you can. What can you see, hear, or smell? The more we look, the more we can see, share, and delight in.


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