A WOMAN who suffered from depression is now helping others with medical problems.
Avril Woods, of Holmfirth, was sociophobic, meaning that she was so terrified of social situations that she wouldn’t even answer the phone.
In 2006 her doctor referred her to Kirklees Practice Active Leisure Service (Pals).
The exercise scheme is jointly run by Kirklees Council and Kirklees Primary Care Trust.
At first Avril kept her distance from the rest of the group.
She said: “People were only being nice and wanted me to feel welcome. But that was just what I didn’t want.”
However, Avril slowly started to feel like she belonged.
She said: “I would hear people talking and telling funny stories and I would laugh along. Eventually, when people spoke to me I started to speak back. I realised how far I had come.”
After completing the 45-week course Avril felt much better.
She said: “Pals has given me the opportunity to get my life back. I am not 100%, but I can cope with myself now.”
Avril has also lost a stone in weight since joining the scheme.
And now the 62-year-old is helping new members settle in. She said: “I know how frightened people can be on their first day and if they are like me they won’t ask for help.”
For more information on Kirklees Pals call 01484 234 095 or email firstname.lastname@example.org