Written by one of our volunteers:
During the last year life has changed a lot for all of us, many of us facing incredibly difficult challenges and hardship. However, when we reflect on our communities, neighbours, friends and families, stories of selfless people and acts shine out like stars.
Jenny is a retired person who had to begin shielding when the pandemic began. She was also forced to stop her usual volunteering work with the Samaritans, which was disappointing for her. However, she found that Communities 1st were offering many remote volunteering options, along with training and support. They needed ‘Compassionate Community Connectors’ to talk to people who were feeling isolated as a result of COVID-19. The communication and listening skills Jenny had developed whilst working at the Samaritans made her an ideal fit for this role.
After being matched to a client through Communities 1st, Jenny now chats every week with a lovely lady. Despite having health issues, the client has a caring family to support her and also find strength in her religion. Since the client is a very sociable person these extra chats with her new friend make a crucial difference to her life. Jenny is there to find out how her week has gone and how she’s feeling, using all those skills she learnt from volunteering with the Samaritans. Jenny says it has been a privilege and that the conversations have cheered her up too!
Many of us may have developed new supportive relationships during these difficult times. We have seen acts of kindness in so many forms, from neighbourly chats, to helping with shopping, to giving away books or treats! Wouldn’t it be wonderful for these things were maintained after lockdown ends! Jenny says her relationship with her lovely telephone client will definitely continue, and she hopes one day they will meet each other in person for a coffee.
Written by Lesley Williams (Volunteer)