Paula lived on her own in a 1-bedroom flat. She was extremely isolated and rarely left the house. “I would spend my days just sitting in my living room and then when it was time for bed, I’d walk to my bedroom. That was my life, walking from the living room to the bedroom and then from my bedroom to my living room. I was so lonely”.
Paula also struggled with severe health issues which resulted in her losing the job she loved. She also suffered with arthritis which stopped her leaving the house. Paula recalls “I had nothing, nothing in my life and the day I came into Oasis, everything changed!”
Paula and her friends were instrumental in developing our Unity Education programme (helping bring our English and non-English speaking communities together) “I absolutely love getting to know people from different countries in the Oasis Centre. I love to help people at Oasis like Oasis has helped me”. Paula started to support refugee ladies in the education room, not only helping them to learn to speak, read and write in English but to make them feel welcome and part of the Oasis family. At Christmas one of the ladies from Syria gave Paula a Christmas card and chocolates with the words ‘to my lovely teacher’ – “Those words meant so much to me, I love helping people here, it’s what we are meant to do!!”