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Harley and Hayley rekindle friendship after lockdown

11th March 2022

Maintaining friendships during lockdown was a challenge people faced across the country, but for Hayley and Harley living in two of our Suffolk supported living services, it was particularly tough.

Sarah, deputy manager of our Suffolk services Beetons Cottage and Bluebell Avenue, said: “Harley and Hayley have been friends for about four years, after meeting during their supported trips to the local leisure centre. Their favourite thing to do is go bowling followed by a pub meal. Lockdown had a really big impact on them both, they didn’t get to see each other for over 18 months because they live a few miles apart. They would meet up really regularly.

“We all suffered with a lack of social interaction over those months, and for Harley and Hayley it was quite a challenge. Harley would often ask about Hayley and when they could see each other again.

“When they could finally arrange to meet up it was a really exciting moment. Support worker Louise has been brilliant helping them organise their trips and speaking to the team at Hayley’s home to arrange picking her up.

For their first trip they decided to go bowling. In some ways it was like starting again with rebuilding those social skills, but in no time it was like they had never been apart.

As well as bowling, Harley and Hayley also love going to the theatre. When the production of ‘Cinderella’ hit their local theatre, the pair bought tickets and arranged their first theatre visit in almost two years.

Sarah said: “You can tell from the photos what a wonderful time they both had. Building friendships after lockdown is so important. As well as having a great time, Harley and Hayley are learning the skills they need to live more independently.”

Support worker Louise said: “It was glorious to see Hayley and Harley together again, seeing the smiles on their faces gives me such a lovely warm feeling inside and reminds me why I love my job.”

When asked if they have any plans coming up, Harley said: “When there is something else on at the theatre.”