Catherine's trip to Glasgow

As most of my support workers know as well as Colin (Senior Service Manager with Penumbra)  I have terminal cancer and over the past year I have been creating a “bucket list”.

My story goes way back 51 years ago to be precise, when I was 15 years old.  I had my first admission in a psychiatric hospital in Glasgow.  During my time there I visited Kelvingrove Art Gallery.  I found a great love of the paintings and exhibitions and could easily spend hours in there…a place of safety in my mind. I was in hospital for over 6 months and never had any visitors, no family or even birthday or Christmas cards it was a very dark time of my life.  However, with being able to visit the Gallery this gave me hope for my future.

As the years have pass and I have always had a longing to return back to the gallery and when making up my list this is something that I thought would not be possible.  With the support from my workers at Penumbra this was arranged.

Leading up to the day I was nervous, excited a whole mix of emotions again my support workers provided support by letting me talk about any apprehensions I had about the day.

I booked the taxi to take us there, on the day I talked none stop, my worker was very understanding and all my worries disappeared.

We arrived and I had butterflies in my tummy seeing the building brought back loads of memories.

For the first time in over 30 years I felt like a new person

We spent time looking at the paintings that I had seen 51 years ago, it was amazing! For the first time in over 30 years I felt like a new person, I felt respectable due to my new clothes and appearance.  People spoke to me and I felt “normal”.

I had a meal in the restaurant (a first for many years) I really enjoyed my meal and again felt normal sitting with other members of the public, I didn’t feel any different from anyone else which is something that I thought would never happen.

I spent time in the gift shop and bought myself some souvenirs of the day, I asked my worker to take photos of me through out the day so that when I am not well I can look back at them and remember the brilliant time I had that day.

I just want to thank everyone who made the day possible.

Huge thanks to Catherine for sharing your experiences with us. To meet more incredible people like Catherine, visit our campaign page #YourJourneyYourWay

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