British Red Cross provide a range of services to people in the Vale of Glamorgan. In particular, their be-friending service provides peer support for older people who are a risk of social isolation.


Elizabeth is 100 years old and lives alone in the Vale of Glamorgan. She was referred to the British Red Cross’ Independent Living (Positive Steps) service for support by a visiting physiotherapist. Despite having reached her centenary, Elizabeth continues to keep her independence with just occasional interventions to help her meet her needs.

Elizabeth’s house backs on to Porthkerry Park in Barry. She has lived there for many years but all she could see from her back garden was a small grassed area and a wood.


The British Red Cross support worker took Elizabeth into the public area of Porthkerry Park and she discovered that it goes right the way down to the beach and the sea. She was unaware of the size of the park and that there are woods, grounds, a picnic area and a café. She was astonished to see people walking dogs and children playing.


Elizabeth now has increased confidence in going outdoors and exploring her surroundings. She has experienced an increased feeling of inclusion in her local community and has re-connected with local places of interest. When Elizabeth discovered the rest of the park, she said “I can’t believe it. I never knew Barry had places like this”.


With thanks to Elizabeth for sharing her story. Name has been changed. December 2018


For a printer friendly version of Elizabeth’s case study click here