"They're friends to me"

Katie and Pam with penguin soft toysMeet Katie who visits Pamela, 84, who likes budgies and penguins - so much so that Katie rang up British Gas and persuaded them to send her a big cuddly penguin, like the one on their adverts. Mrs Vickers named him Maurice.

"It’s fantastic having the Royal Voluntary Service. They’re all marvellous; they’re friends to me now. Katie always helps and cheers me up.”

Pamela, 84
“I see Pam every Thursday after I’ve dropped my daughter to school. We have a chat and maybe watch some TV together. Pam loves her penguin, and he now sits with her watching the TV. I like to take her chocolates and bottles of wine at Christmas. I like to make her smile.

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“I post Pam’s letters and take her some shopping but she doesn’t need me to do that much for her. She’s a very clever lady, she does the Sunday Express crossword every week and says: ‘I know I’ll win one day.’

“I get a sense of achievement from volunteering, I know I make a difference to her life and she makes a difference to mine too, we’re good friends.”

Pam lives on her own and has no relatives in the UK; she has mobility difficulties and recently hurt her back so has to use a stick in the house. Her neighbours help her by doing her shopping, and Bridget from the Bromley Transport Service takes her out to the hospital or wherever she needs to go. She started using the Royal Voluntary Service shortly before her husband died to visit him at the home where he lived and she has been using the service ever since.

“Ian went into hospital on my 80th birthday and never came out again. He was diagnosed with dementia and he went into a Home; he died two years ago this April and I’ve been on my own since then. Cheryl and Bridget from Royal Voluntary Service came to Ian’s memorial service with me just to lend their support and give me a hand to hold."

Huge thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery who are helping to fund our Good Neighbours schemes and social activities where older people can get together across Great Britain

Have a look at some of the other blogs and find out more about our inspiring volunteers:

Find out more about volunteering or get support near you.

Posted by Katie, Volunteer at 00:00 Friday, 29 July 2016.

Labels: Volunteering, befriending, older people, Royal Voluntary Service

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