Plato’s phrase ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ has never been more true, and is exemplified by the following story…
Most of you probably already know that Essex County Council are supplying video tablets to vulnerable people in the community to enable them to stay connected to their families. The tablets are very simple to use and very secure. They don’t require wifi as they have a built-in sim card and currently are free of charge.
Befriending co-ordinator, Jayne sent the following for inclusion as an illustration:
‘I have taken on Mrs A, who is extremely independent but due to having had a stroke and being vulnerable, particularly through Covid-19, this has stopped her from going out.
Before Covid-19, despite having a stroke, she would go dancing at her local community hall and was doing Tai chi.
Then lockdown came.
She stopped going out.
Mrs A contacted us asking if we could find a befriending volunteer for he; I had a lovely chat with her about her life.
I found a young lady that is going to ring her weekly for a chat as they both love Dance
I also contacted The Alcove so she could have a device delivered to her. I hoped this would mean that she could connect with either a dancing friend or a Tai chi friend and be able to practise this face to face on the device
The device came yesterday, and Mrs A wasn’t really sure how it worked. I then realised that I hadn’t put in the numbers that she needed.
I contacted The Alcove to explain and ask how I should go about this. I was told that I’d need the serial number, so today I rang Mrs A, and she said:
‘Jayne you will be so impressed with me I phoned The Alcove myself, gave them the emails of friends, and they are going to add numbers on for me.
I am absolutely thrilled with this device, this morning I’ve had a friend phone me and we have actually seen each other face-to-face for the first time in ages so I don’t feel so lonely now.’
I’m so pleased for her I’ve asked for my number to go on there so I can make face-to-face contact with her and to ring her in the future. This lady is in her 80s and has amazed me by what she has managed to achieve for herself, not only by using this device, but in her life.’
It’s easy to volunteer as one of our befrienders. Help combat loneliness and check out our volunteer opportunities.