Skip to main content

Eileen’s story


“I found out that David had progressive lung cancer and six weeks later he passed away. It was a really traumatic time for our family, as one of my sons was starting a new job in Germany and couldn’t get back in time to say goodbye. It was devastating for everyone.”

David died only 18 months after he and Eileen had enjoyed a lovely trip to Eastbourne together, organised and funded by the MCF.

The MCF organised lovely day trips whilst myself and David were away, like visits to Brighton which were really enjoyable. We went with others who were from all over the country, which was something we both liked. Evenings were very sociable, and we enjoyed nights in the hotel with music. We had a lovely evening before the holiday ended, sharing a meal with everyone on the trip.

After David’s loss, Eileen felt very lonely and socially isolated and she looked back on the holiday spent together with her husband as a beautiful memory. Then the Master of David’s lodge asked Eileen if she wanted to go on another trip organised by the MCF. The time spent in the company of other widows helped Eileen to recover from the traumatic experience of her husband’s loss.

“My husband and I used to go everywhere together, so after he passed away I thought I would have no life and no friends. I asked my children and they just said, ‘Mum, go for it… Dad would want you to’. The holiday coincided with the year anniversary of David’s death, but the people I was with were brilliant; I had such a good time and we really enjoyed ourselves.”


I never thought I’d fly again after David died, but I had company and that really takes your mind off things. I made some great friends including other widows, and they helped me to talk about what I was going through as they understood my situation. Since the holiday, I’ve started to go to the widows’ Christmas meals each year where I catch up with one of the ladies who was on my trip, and we exchange Christmas cards with each other. The holiday gave me the confidence to do things on my own — I flew out to Germany not long ago to meet my new grandson!


Our Impact


We’re proud to champion better mental health. Since 2016, we have given over £30,000 in funding to local branches of Mind, a mental health charity, helping them to do just that. Mind provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem, and campaigns to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. Find…

Read More

Musical Connections

Musical Connections empowers isolated older people to lead happier, healthier lives through participating in music. The charity currently runs eight inclusive music-making sessions and two community choirs in care homes, sheltered housing, community centres and GP surgeries  across York. Barriers to maintaining relationships Many older people have poor physical or mental health, including dementia, mobility…

Read More

Mothers for Mothers

Mothers for Mothers is a Bristol based charity which supports parents affected by perinatal mental illness (PNI). The MCF awarded a grant of £5,000 to help fund the charity’s support groups, which are run by women who have experienced perinatal mental illness themselves. Perinatal mental illness Around  20 per cent of women experience a mental…

Read More