“Understanding Society has followed me through some pivotal chapters in my life”

“It’s good to know that what we value and understand about the world is being taken into account,” says one participant.

I’ve been part of the Understanding Society story for many years now. In fact it’s followed me through pivotal chapters in my life.

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It all began with a letter and an invitation to take part in a project covering cities, towns and villages across the United Kingdom and beyond.

Out of curiosity (and because of the generous gift) I decided to take part. Since then, once a year, we get a visit from a member of the Understanding Society team. We usually put the kettle on and sit at the dining room table and essentially review the ups and downs of the previous 12 months.

Over the years we’ve covered a few milestones – having children, moving house, new jobs, new gadgets and more. We also discuss how we find out about the world, what we feel about changes going on around us and whether we’re keeping fit or engaging in the community. We’ve got to know our interviewer and catch up over a cuppa each year.

The nurse visit

Sometimes there’s a bonus visit from a nurse or health practitioner who will weigh and measure and gauge and record it all for the project. Our children have seen this annual appointment taking place and as they grow older they’ll begin to take part too, weaving their experiences and views of the world into the fabric of the whole.

Once a year I treat myself to a book or album using my Understanding Society voucher as a reminder of that year’s visit.

It’s good to think that what we value and understand about the world is being taken into account. It’s a way of sharing our experiences and letting others know what life is like.

I’m glad to be a part of Understanding Society and hope that I’ll still be meeting up every year for a long time to come.

This story was submitted to the Tell us a story competition, which invited participants to tell us about their interview experience. The competition is now closed.

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