Rita & Stella’s Story
Rita is a volunteer with the Impetus Neighbourhood Care Scheme (NCS). She has been visiting Stella weekly for the last 18 months. Stella is in her 80s and lives alone near Hove Park.
As an employee of the NHS Proactive Care Team, Rita was aware of the issue of loneliness and its negative effects on people’s health. Colleagues of hers were referring patients to the NCS and it sparked her interest.
“I was shocked at the facts and figures around loneliness locally; there are so many people whose lives are affected. Volunteering with the NCS is an easy thing I can do to help.
“Stella’s and my life have been completely different; she has had five children and has raised them in difficult circumstances. But we have a connection and it’s rewarding being a positive part of her life.”
They’ve had a lot of fun together, including visiting Bluebell Woods where Stella tried a mobility scooter for the first time. Rita might take her out to a local cafe, for a picnic, or sometimes takes her shopping if needed.
“Although I have children, they have their own families. And in the past few years I’ve lost five close friends to cancer. I wound up not talking to anyone for days on end. I was lonely,” Stella says.
“I used to go out a lot. But now I get out of breath easily and forget things. Rita takes me to places I’ve not been to for years. Last year she took me down to the beach, helped me over the pebbles and encouraged me to dip my toes in the sea. She makes me feel safe like that. I feel like I belong to the world again.
“We chat, laugh and joke. You need someone like that, she makes me really happy. She is a helper and a friend and I would miss her greatly!”
Stella says that Rita has made a huge difference to her life. And Rita absolutely recommends volunteering with the Impetus NCS to others.
“My introduction to the team and the role – from my first enquiry through to interview, induction and very first meeting with Stella – has been great and I’ve felt well equipped for my role.
“The team continue to be supportive and responsive. I feel held.”
Could you or someone you know benefit from the NCS?
Please visit our get support page to get in contact with us.
Do you want to make a difference and volunteer?
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