Keeping in touch with vulnerable people

The team at Cheshire West Voluntary Action (CWVA) has been volunteering its time during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to make befriending calls to vulnerable people.

Even though it has been a busy period for CWVA as it has taken a leading role alongside Cheshire West and Chester Council in the coordinated community response to COVID-19, the team has been giving something back to the community by teaming up with Healthbox to take part in weekly calls.

With the vulnerable and elderly isolating during the pandemic, some people have found themselves on their own and are rarely in contact with others. Healthbox’s befriending calls allow vulnerable people to speak to a friendly voice on the other end of the phone and discuss anything they need to.

Joanne Walton, Business and Charity Connector at CWVA, said: “I speak to three gentlemen, who are all self isolating, on the phone each week. The calls are lovely and they’re such a nice way for me to end my week.

“I speak to them once they’ve done their weekly shops on their scooters and I’ve found out so many interesting things about all of them already.

“One of them used to play the organ around the hotels in Benidorm and he’s even met The Beatles. One of the other people I talk to usually goes swimming twice a week at the age of 93, but obviously that’s had to stop because of lockdown.

“They all really look forward to the phone calls each week because they’re quite lonely, having been in isolation for quite some time.  

“Even things like giving out contact numbers, such as where they can get deliveries for essential food, can make a big difference.

“To us, telling people a number to call might not seem like much, but it means these vulnerable people get the support they need.”

Alongside taking part in befriending calls, Joanne has been volunteering with NHS Volunteer Responders and has picked up things like prescriptions for people who aren’t able to leave their home.

She added: “It makes you feel like you’ve done your bit for those in need.”

Volunteers Week (1-7 June) is an opportunity to celebrate and thank volunteers for the important role they play in their communities.

How you can get involved

Inspire Cheshire West gives you the opportunity to share your stories about how you’ve supported your community.

You can also share your volunteering stories on your own social media accounts. Make sure you use #VolunteersWeek and download the Volunteers Week artwork the Council and CWVA have developed.

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