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Persona 1: Gareth

Gareth is a 58 year old single man who experiences sudden intense bouts of high anxiety.  He was recently prescribed medication which he feels has massively helped, though he does feel a bit anxious going to the pharmacy to collect it.

Gareth has no transport.  He has arthritis in his hips, so walking can be a painful ordeal.  His anxiety flares on public transport so he now avoids buses altogether. He used to like going to the football but his health issues have stopped that, too.

Gareth prefers to stay home. He likes to spend his time keeping his garden tidy and has recently been pleased to see that some bluetits have nested in the birdbox he’s attached to his fence.

He doesn’t have wifi at home but he does have a smart phone with data. He avoids using his phone for anything but calls because he feels like he doesn’t know what he’s doing and he’s heard that people have been hacked before.

Persona 2: Vikram

Vikram is a 45 year old Polish man who has been struggling with suicidal thoughts after a recent marriage break down. He can use a smartphone to call and text but struggles to find the information he needs on the internet and doesn’t find it easy to fill in forms so he avoids having to go online when he can.

Vikram’s daughter and young granddaughter live a short bus-ride away but he’s not been able to see them whilst isolating. They speak on the phone sometimes but he misses them both and it’s not the same as seeing their faces.

Vikram has been trying to keep busy but often feels alone being in the family house by himself with nobody to talk to. He enjoys reading but with the local library closed he’s struggling to find things he wants to read. He’s liked going for walks when the weather is nice but is getting bored walking the same few routes he knows around his way.

Persona 3: Caitlan

Caitlan is a 32 year old single mother of two who has been off work due to stress. She wants to get help with her mental health but doesn’t know where to start. She’s tried to have a look on the internet but there’s so much advice she finds it overwhelming and doesn’t know what to do for the best.

Caitlan uses a smart phone, mostly for Facebook and Whatsapp. Her friends keep sending her suggesting of how to de-stress but she’s not sure whose advice to follow. She’s had some email’s advertising stress treatments that look quite good but worries if he clicks on too many links she might get a virus.  The family do have tablet at home but the children use it more than her.

The Pandemic has made Caitlan more stressed than ever because there’s so much information about what to do and what not to do, then her friends all post their opinions on Facebook and seem to contradict each other. Her young sons are supposed to be going back to nursery soon but she doesn’t know if she should send them. She often feels lonely and cooped up in the house but isn’t sure whether it’s safe to take the boys out or if she can see anyone socially. There’s so much to think about it’s keeping her awake at night.

Persona 4: Mariam

Mariam is a 25 year old Eritrean woman.  She is feeling lonely and isolated since her best friend, Adrian, passed away.  She’s always found it hard to mix with people and is anxious in social settings, so she cherished her regular meet-ups with Adrian, where they would go fishing and talk.  Mariam’s English is good though she struggles at times, and sometimes she worries about what people will think about her accent.

Mariam really enjoys making art and has found that painting has helped her to manage her wellbeing during the pandemic. She thinks she might like to branch out in to sculpture or pottery but sure how to go about it. She likes creative writing, too, and is quite proud of some of her poems – she would have loved to have shared them with Adrian.

Marian has a tablet and a smart phone but doesn’t use them much other than to message family. She would really like to make some new friends more nearby.

Persona 5: Karen

Karen is a 67 year old mother of 2, and a grandmother to 5.  Recently, she has become increasingly worried about germs all around her.  Even before the Pandemic illness was a worry but with things the way they are she’s more concerned than ever. Even though she’s not yet 70 and doesn’t think she has any underlying health conditions, she’s feels safer at home and has chosen to shield. Better safe than sorry! Although she misses her family very much she won’t let them come round, even to sit in the garden, in case they spread germs and everyone gets seriously ill. She’s aware she’s moving less since they’re not going out for the long walks they used to enjoy, but she’d rather not take the risk.

Karen feels like she is cleaning all the time to keep her and her family safe. Her husband is doing the food shopping but Karen only lets him buy things that are sealed in plastic and she washes everything with bleach before she puts it in the kitchen. She has set timers to go off every hour to remind her to wash her hands and makes sure to scrub for the full 20 seconds every time.

Her husband keeps telling her she’s being stupid and needs to relax. Now the lockdown rules have eased he says she needs to start getting out of the house. He doesn’t understand her when she tried to explain, and he just gets frustrated with her when she gets upset. Her children are concerned the situation is affecting her relationship with her grandchildren, since she can’t see them. It would be good to have someone else to talk everything through with.

Karen is comfortable using her laptop but doesn’t see that she has much use for it.