Betty – 11 for the 11th

We want to raise awareness of Care for Veterans and the vital support it provides to people like Betty. In turn we hope people will be generous enough to donate money to support this charity.

Former WREN (Women’s Royal Naval Service), Betty, 96, came to live at Care for Veterans earlier this year.
Betty served in the WRENS during the second half of World War II and was stationed at Portsmouth. The city had experienced repeated bombings, with tens of thousands of incendiaries and bombs being dropped, almost 400 people killed and devastation to the local housing and infrastructure. Betty remembers the devastation and many people left homeless, but also remembers the resilience and great spirit of the people of Portsmouth to carry on with their daily lives as best they could, which she so greatly admired. After the War, Betty returned to her home in Worthing where she lived until recently.

Unfortunately, Betty had had a few falls at home. After losing a lot of confidence, she had started to become quite isolated and her independence began slipping away.

A friend went to visit Betty at home one day, and found her on the floor following another fall. It was decided then that Betty needed full-time care, so she came to live here.

Betty is no stranger to Care for Veterans, having volunteered with us for many years. Back when the charity still only cared for male veterans, she used to visit each ward with her trolley, selling items such as aftershave, combs and snacks to the residents; she was known as the ‘Trolley Dolly’. Following this, she started to help in the Social and Recreation department, helping residents with their arts and crafts, or playing games like dominoes and crosswords, and she always attended the events hosted by the charity.

Having volunteered at Care for Veterans for so long, Betty already knew some of the staff, and since living here she has really come out of her shell.

Betty can be found in the Social and Recreation department every day; she’s usually the first resident through the doors in the morning, and last to leave in the afternoon. She has been busy weaving, making crafts which will be sold at the charity’s Christmas Bazaar in December.

Thanks to the activities she takes part in, her hand/eye co-ordination and her finger and thumb dexterity have improved greatly. Betty also takes part in group activities, becoming a regular at the monthly darts match between Care for Veterans and the local Rotary Club, and going on day trips on Care for Veterans wheelchair-accessible coach.

Living at Care for Veterans has given Betty some of her independence back; she takes herself to and from the dining room each day for her meals, and she can visit Social and Rec whenever she likes.

“They take good care of me here; they’re all lovely. It’s wonderful because I can do what I like.”

To find out more and to donate, click here.

This article originally appeared on the Care for Veterans website. To read the original, click here.