At the end of last year we visited Betty at Burns Court in Rotherham and filmed her sharing her incredible story. During Mental Health Awareness Week we gave Betty a call to see how she’s doing, and to find out how her plans for moving have been affected.

You can watch Betty’s video by scrolling below.

Betty! It’s lovely to chat with you again.

Aaww, hello! It’s really nice to hear from you again. I was so pleased with the video we made when I saw it you know. When we did the filming I didn’t know you, and for me to come out with things I’d buried was, well, it was really hard to put into words but I was so glad that I managed to.

“I’m still living at Burns Court at the moment – I wasn’t expecting to still be here now! I’ve technically gone over my time limit, but the staff have been absolutely brilliant and told me not to worry. Before Coronavirus there were 2 ground-floor flats available which me and Denise were looking at for me – I was getting set to move, but I’m still ready and raring to get into my new place when I can.”


How are you finding being at home at the moment?


It’s been touch and go. I’ve got COPD so can’t go out which means I’ve had a lot of time to sit and think. It’s really made me realise how important it is to go out. Suddenly your freedom has been taken away from you. I can’t wait for it to be lifted!

I’ve got through so many magazines though it’s unbelievable. I’m reading about different stars and what they’re up to. It’s keeping my mind occupied. I’m also doing all the mundane things – hoovering and cleaning and the like!

I’ve been getting out in the garden too, from a distance obviously, with one of my friends who lives here so that’s made it easier. The garden is beautiful, they got a new bench last year so I’ve been sitting on that occasionally.

Are you still in touch with your keyworker?

Denise phoned me up every day at first and now it’s every other day, she’s good to me, though I’ve not got much to update her with. I can count my things to tell her on 1 hand! Because I’m shielding the staff have also been getting food for me. I write a list, put some money in an envelope, and then leave my shopping trolley outside the door. I’m so grateful.

This year Mental Health Awareness Week is all about kindness. Are there any ways that kindness has played a part in your story?

“To me, kindness is someone that is prepared to listen to me, to be there for me whenever they can, and make me feel worth it. I’ve had this problem for years where I haven’t felt worthy. I’ve done lots of the hard work to feel better, but I’ve also received a lot of kindness along the way to help that happen. Denise has been amazing with me, and my moods! It’s the way she says “Betty you can do it!” “


There was another man too at Stockton Hall who I used to call Mickey Boy. He was one of the first people to say “You can do it Betty, I’ve got faith in you.” I got motivation from that, and then when I saw I could do things, I felt even more motivated. On the days I didn’t want to get out of bed Mickey would come in and say “right I’ll sit here and talk to you until you feel able to get up.” And then he’d start on about golf and I’d be straight up!

What are you most looking forward to once you’re able to go out again?

I would love to go to Wentworth garden centre, and also see the house there. I come from a town where all you could see from your windows was houses, so being able to see farmers’ fields and all that grandeur, well it feels like I’m in a different kind of world.