February 13th has become a day famous for celebrating your gal pals, so in honour of that, we spoke to two of our residents at Watling Court in Gravesend, who have formed a very special bond since they first met almost four years ago.
Pat and Suzanne first met when Suzanne moved into Drewery House, Rapport Housing & Care’s former supported home in Wigmore.
“When I moved in, Pat already lived there and she made me feel so welcome,” says Suzanne, “I just knew from the moment I met her that there was something I loved about her.”
Shortly after moving in though, Suzanne was offered a place at Watling Court Extra Care Housing Scheme in Gravesend, she visited and jumped at the chance to accept her place, encouraging Pat to come too.
“I told her she had to apply to move in too, it was absolutely wonderful and so spacious,” says Suzanne, and before long, Pat moved into the apartment directly above Suzanne’s.
During lockdown the pair, who have a 30-year age gap, were each other’s support. They used to talk out of the window and Suzanne’s cat would go between the apartments, Pat even threw treats down for the cat. Suzanne believes that if she hadn’t lived at Watling Court and she had lived alone in the community when the pandemic hit, she wouldn’t be here today.
“When I had Covid, I was really very poorly but Suzanne was there for me, she even visited me in hospital, bringing me things that I needed and generally looking after me,” Pat says.
“Pat’s family are in Canada and Spain, so I do look out for her, I feel privileged that they trust me to help her with her appointments and things like that,” says Suzanne, “I’ve had my struggles too, but Pat has always been there for me, she listens and really helps me when my head is muddled.”
“I don’t always say much but I do listen,” adds Pat, “like all best friends we fall out sometimes, but we always talk it through. I can’t put it in to words how much I need Suzanne.”
“It doesn’t often happen in life that someone comes along who becomes such a good friend,” concludes Suzanne, “we really are very lucky.”