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Supporting Age UK during the Pandemic

August 12th, 2020

Written by Beth Tovell

We’re proud to announce that some of our colleagues make up the over 150 new volunteers that Age UK Bradford District have seen since March.

At the beginning of lockdown our charity partner for 2020, Age UK Bradford District, appealed for help to assist their service users across the district. They needed volunteers to help with errands such as shopping, delivering meals and provide general support for the unique situations of the elderly members of the community.

I myself, first volunteered her help by helping elderly neighbours with their shopping. They left a shopping list and some money in an envelope for me to collect and then I went to their chosen supermarket to get all they needed. When I dropped the shopping off at their doorstep, they came into the garden to wave me off despite their mobility issues. This was a very humbling and inspired me to want to help others. A few weeks later I was called to a lady’s house who lived alone, she needed some birthday cards and letters posting – 2 of these were to go as far as America & Canada. We spoke briefly at the door and she explained her family all live across the pond, so it was nice for her to be able to contact them via post. I posted the letters for her then dropped her change back at her house. It was such a small thing for me but it meant the world to her.

I was one of a number of ACS'ers who were happy to help.

Kasey Dearnley

For the first 8 weeks of Lockdown, Kasey did multiple shopping errands for vulnerable people who couldn’t leave the house. She did this a couple of times a week for 2 months, for all different people and she had some regular calls too.

She struck up a lovely friendship with a man who lived alone, she helped him every week for 10 weeks – he sadly took ill and passed away after this. She has also taken donations to the charity shop which she has had from the people she’s been helping. Since this, she has been doing weekly wellbeing calls with multiple vulnerable members of the community for an hour every time, where she lets them talk about whatever they like to prevent them from feeling lonely.

Tom Lowe

Tom started wellbeing calls with a man called Donald at the beginning of the Lockdown. They spoke twice a week for 1 hour each time, Tom learned all about Donald’s life and he also told Donald about his own life. Through this they both learned they had a mutual interest in reading, so this inspired them to start a book club. Each week Tom would drop a book off on Donald’s doorstep and Donald would leave him one on the doorstep to collect, they spoke through the window about their books and then came back the week after to swap books again. This has been going on since March.

Lewis Murch

Lewis took part in wellbeing phone calls with 2 older members of the local community. One lady and one gentleman. The lady was a bit cautious of speaking to a stranger at first but soon became more relaxed. The conversation soon started to flow and happened more regularly. Lewis called both once a week, to keep up to date with what they were up to. He also helped the gentleman tune his TV to find channels over the phone and spoke to them both about music and their memories. Lewis really enjoyed his time and says they had a lot of laughs down the phone!

Please support our Echo-fund! We are raising money for Amazon Echos- these devices are great for seniors with vision problems and dementia. By donating what you can to our fund we can support the elderly service users of Age UK Bradford District with technology.

Donate here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/echo-fund