“Joy by name, joy by nature”
Painting the picture
At 75 years of age, Joy from Reservoir, has always been fiercely independent despite the challenges of having encephalitis since a child, with her left side of her body not as mobile as the right.
Joy’s connection with LINK Community and Transport has been a cherished and nurturing affair since her first phone call in 2018. From the outset, Joy saw LINK as an avenue to reach out, especially during times of loneliness, often leaving up to 10 messages in the middle of the night. This prompted LINK to get to know Joy more intimately and understand what she was really going through, as well as looking at ways to make her life better and live her best life. Once Joy connected with LINK’s Customer Relations Officer, Naomi Darmanin, the relationship with LINK continued to grow, with Joy lowering her inhibitions and allowing Naomi into her life. In time, there was laughter and banter in their conversations, something that Joy had not experienced or enjoyed in some time. However, some of the laughter hid the raw reality of Joy’s loneliness, especially on special holidays such as Christmas Day. Naomi discovered that Joy would spend Christmas Day alone as the only family, her sister, Helen who lived in Bendigo.
The LINK phone calls were also combined with Joy’s daily LINK outings which included shopping adventures, Morning Melodies and luncheons, which she thoroughly enjoyed. It was not only the activity which filled her cup but also the social connection, often meeting with people who were facing the same challenges.
Simple and pleasant conversations between Joy and Naomi, eventually became into so much more for both LINK and Joy.
The COVID pandemic created a sudden halt in many aspects of Joy’s life. And it hit hard for Joy.
With LINK services on pause, Joy’s only social connection came in the form of Naomi’s daily conversations. Joy openly missed her connection with LINK’s volunteer drivers and the invaluable face to face friendships she had formed during her LINK outings. Joy could no longer go to the shops or colour her hair at the salon. These simple pleasures created the greatest of impacts and that gaping hole of social connection took its toll on Joy.
The LINK team was committed in reassuring Joy that the entire country was in a challenging situation and was important to be positive and optimistic. LINK stayed connected with her during the toughest of lockdowns. Their robust conversations ranged from her love of gardening, knitting and missing her sister. But most of all, Joy was anxious to know when the LINK outings programs would recommence.
Joy’s patience prevailed, and once lockdown was lifted, Joy was able to revitalise her social diary. In fact, in 2022, Joy has attended nearly every LINK outing. That shows commitment!
Joy’s love for her community, her friends and LINK have created a cocoon of connection and conversation that she values. LINK Community and Transport has been so much more than a mode of transport for Joy. LINK became a constant companion and a warm and welcoming voice to speak to, which Joy relied upon for solace and comfort.
“With LINK, I am able to live a life which makes me happy. LINK is so much more than getting me to a destination. They are focussed in supporting friendships and giving me the opportunities to reconnect with people which I love. Through LINK, I can give life a red-hot go!” Joy says.
“For so long, my name did not reflect how I felt. But with the help of LINK, I am Joy by name, joy by nature.”
Painting the picture At 75 years of age, Joy from Reservoir, has always been fiercely independent despite the challenges of having encephalitis since a child, with her left side of her body not as mobile as the right. Joy’s connection with LINK Community and Transport has been a cherished and nurturing affair since her first […]