Charlotte and Time to Talk Befriending

Thu 7 Nov 2019

Charlotte, who is now 86, was referred to Time to Talk Befriending in 2016 by her physiotherapist. Charlotte has only been living full time as a female for the past 2 years, for 83 years of her life she lived as Ronald.

Her wife died 9 years ago, since then she has been extremely lonely. And since Charlotte started to go out in women’s clothing and as her ‘true identity’ her social network and friendships have decreased dramatically. As a result, Charlotte spends long periods of time alone. Her family also do not visit her or speak to her anymore which she feels is another loss and has left her feeling even more alone.  

When she was referred to Time to Talk she was matched with a befriender. Charlotte’s befriender visits her at home for a cup of tea and a chat. Charlotte enjoys sharing stories of her life and about the area where she lives because she has been a resident all of her life! On occasions Charlotte and her befriender go out. For example; the volunteer is accompanying Charlotte to an event at a local school soon.  In addition, Charlotte attends a local weekly afternoon event called “Tea and Company”. This is run in partnership between Time to Talk Befriending, St Mary’s Church and Brighton College. As a result of the friendships made at the event, Charlotte is regularly attending St Mary’s Church. This has been a significant step for her because she desperately wanted to go to Church but did not know if she would be accepted since her decision to live as a female.  Charlotte has also been successfully referred to the LGBT Switchboard for counselling by Time to Talk Befriending.

Charlotte says she has “got a new life”. Her life has changed from being boring, where she feels very lonely, to one that’s good. She’s not unhappy like before, and no longer wishes she hadn’t lived past 70, but now hopes she makes it past 100! Her life has changed and has improved, she now goes to other activities and has even started going to church again because of the support offered. She even started writing down the story of her life, and is very excited about this opportunity.