With failing eyesight and type 2 diabetes, Neville was always going to find things difficult during the lockdown.
His eyesight was so bad he was unaware that lights had fused and that his kitchen was rather dirty. Although beyond the remit of The Volunteer Centre we arranged for volunteers to sort out his lights and arranged for a cleaner to visit. Because Neville was so vulnerable, he always answered the door with his walking stick raised in case he needed to beat off an attacker, as this was something he feared.
Volunteers would call him before visiting to make sure he knew they were on their way. In fairness Neville needed to be in a care home, but he did not want to relinquish his independence, something we could fully understand.
Keith has renal failure and visits hospital twice a week for dialysis. He had been referred to us prior to lockdown, but once those measures were introduced his referral became even more acute. His condition requires shopping on specific days, and his diet also has to be given careful consideration.
He has been reliant on us over the last two years and by his own volition, he admits he simply could not have coped without the help of The Volunteer Centre.
Patrick lived in a highly deprived area of Chesterfield, he’d recently come out of hospital and was referred into us via Social Services. Patrick also cared for his disabled, elderly brother. We visited them at their home to assess their needs shortly after their referral from Social Services. There was no family support but they did have some help from a near neighbour.
The residence was in an extreme state of uncleanliness for various reasons, so bad was it that carers had refused to enter. After some chasing from ourselves and many phone calls to Social Services, ‘The Council’ etc. a private contractor was engaged to clean the premises, paid for the by the council.
He received ongoing support with shopping and household tasks from ourselves.
Patrick stated: ”We’re really grateful for all the help we’ve had, it’s really made a difference to us and we know we have problems but we are grateful”.
Sheila was a lovely lady from Spinkhill she had an advanced cancer diagnosis, she has had quite a bit of treatment but time was limited for her. She was referred into the project by her son and daughter in law.
Sheila had quite a bit of family support but due to work commitments they admitted to be struggling at times. Carers were going in to assist in a morning and at night however they were concerned about her during the day as she was very frail.
A volunteer was found to visit Sheila at least once a week, also referred into Helen’s Trust…..sadly shortly afterwards Sheila passed away in May after only few volunteer visits from ourselves. We had a phone call from her son who stated, “We can’t thank you enough, it gave us peace of mind to know someone was here (with her).“
With mental health problems, mobility problems and limited use in his left hand following a stroke, Mark was referred to us for assistance at the beginning of lockdown. He has come to rely on us heavily over the last year, and at the beginning he would not trust anyone else outside of the Volunteer Centre team.
We have carried out shopping for Mark, and a volunteer visits him regularly to ascertain his needs. Life is certainly much more comfortable for Mark than it was, and again our intervention means he can remain in his own flat and retain some independence.
Fred was referred in to us via Social Services, he had various ongoing health issues including mental health problems. Family support was limited for several reasons. His mobility was limited though he could get about his house fairly well.
We referred Fred into Silver Line for phone support, and Nenna Kind for transport to appointments. We managed to get him a befriender via one of our in-house projects and also found him a few small jobs around his house completed via our Safe & Sound project.
Fred stated: “ I can’t do all them little jobs since having my knees and hip done, having help has been great”!
Albert lived in Staveley, had prostate cancer, a hernia and related issues. He lived alone in a predominantly female retirement facility. He had limited mobility and suffered from depression/low mood.
He was referred in by Social Services as needing a befriender fairly urgently due to his prognosis. After an initial visit/assessment he was visited weekly and also had a weekly phone call. Albert was a very interesting gentleman who, according to his social worker and fellow residents, has benefitted immensely from having a befriender.
He stated: “It’s nice to have a feller to talk to, it’s all ‘bloomin’ women here, they never shurrup”.
Martin was a Bolsover gentleman who has multiple conditions including having had cancer, he was stable but due to other conditions required ongoing treatments. Martin had very limited family support, a befriender was found via one of our project who visited regularly and kept in touch via the phone also.
Referrals were made into various other services such as ‘Silver Line’, ‘Helen’s Trust’, the incontinence team, he was given help to access a key safe and have a ‘Telecare’ alarm fitted etc.
As well as having a befriender Martin also had quite a few small jobs done including a garage clear out and some light gardening: “It’s nice to think people care, I couldn’t have done them things myself, I just can’t manage things like I used to.”