Surbjit: “I was fearful of the unknown, but I’m so glad I broke that barrier”

Surbjit Ghuman, who’s married to an IT Support Officer with West Midlands FRS, attended our Women’s Wellbeing Week and made lifelong friendships – while boosting her overall wellbeing.

Looking after our wellbeing is something we need to keep on top of throughout our life, not just when something goes wrong.

And we recently held a Women’s Wellbeing Week at Jubilee House to reinforce that message to a group of female beneficiaries aged between 40 and 60, who were offered the opportunity to boost both their physical and mental health, with support from each other.

One of those who attended was Surbjit Ghuman. She’s married to Aghia Pal, who works in the IT department for West Midlands FRS, as well as being a volunteer for the International Search and Rescue Team. She sat down with us to share her experience, and how it benefitted her:

Surbjit says: “My husband drove me up and when I arrived I was shown to my room and given some time to make myself comfortable.

“Then it was supper time and there I met my colleagues, my comrades, my friends… I’ve built some lifelong friendships through the women’s group.

“It was a programme for women and it was really about taking care of ourselves. It was not only to do with our physical education either…

“I got a lot out of the strengthening and conditioning. As women mature into their golden years, it’s about looking after yourself, your muscle strength. It was raising awareness of not being frightened and having a go.

“The approach was non-judgemental, it was motivating. I was fearful of the unknown, but by the time I finished, I was hopping, skipping and having a go without any real fear.”

She adds: “One of the other highlights was the menopause workshop. People were able to share their own personal experiences in a safe space. We all learned from each other.

Aghia Pal was awarded by the King for his role

“All the staff. From the housekeeping staff to the reception staff, the catering staff, they considered everything. It was hearty, good homecooked food.

“If you put 100 per cent of yourself in, you’ll get 100 per cent out of it. I think often we’re fearful of the unknown, but sometimes you just have to break that barrier and say, ‘well let’s go and let’s see what’s out there’, and I’m glad I did.”

If you feel you’d benefit from our health and wellbeing support, you can call our Support Line on 0800 389 8820, make an enquiry online or visit the ‘Access Support’ tab in My Fire Fighters Charity.

And remember – if you’re feeling suicidal, you can call our Crisis Line 24 hours a day on 0300 373 0896.