A CLYDEBANK pensioner has told how, despite lockdown lifting for those who were instructed to shield, she is still ‘terrified’ to leave her home.

Liz Angus, 71, ventured out last week for the first time since she was told to stay at home in March.

She described how her health has deteriorated since being stuck indoors.

Liz’s last trip out was on March 12, when she went to the Golden Friendships Club to celebrate the birthday of founder Jim McLaren.

But she said the contact she has maintained with Jim throughout the lockdown gave her the confidence to visit the club last Thursday.

Liz suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and would use a walking stick when out and about – but after five months indoors, she now needs crutches to help her walk.

The Dalmuir resident said: “At the beginning of the year I suffered from whooping cough and that floored me. Then, when I had just recovered, we were all sent into lockdown.

“Five years ago I was in Malta and took pneumonia and was hospitalised. I was left in a corridor for six days.

“I feel like my anxiety has been heightened because of watching the news, and it being a similar state in hospitals to when I was in Malta.

Read more: St Peter the Apostle High pupils share their pride at achieving outstanding exam results

“It got to the point recently where I wouldn’t put the news on. I was terrified and my husband had to stop going to work because I feared he would catch the virus and give it to me.”

Jim promised Liz he would come to her home and collect her so she didn’t have to use public transport.

On Thursday he took her to the club for a cup of tea and a natter with Jim and his mum and aunt.

“When Jim was coming to get me I got really panicky,” Liz said, “but then I settled, and when I got there I had a brilliant time.”

Liz, who has also experienced agoraphobia, spent her time in lockdown making crystal art pictures which she feels helped her mental health, but she still struggles with feeling locked in.

Like many others she is hoping the Golden Friendships group will reopen soon, giving Liz a ‘safe place’ where she knows other group members and staff and can feel more secure than going out in public.

Jim said: “Liz is a wonderful member of Golden Friendships and struggled through lockdown. I’ve tried to keep weekly contact and keep her spirits up.

“It’s been difficult keeping in touch with all the members, and that has had a negative effect, as I’m finding out that some of them have been thinking they would rather be dead than locked up.

“I’ve had pensioners coming to the club with donations towards our refurbishment, but really they just wanted some company.”