Shortly after my retirement my husband died. My whole world fell apart. Nearly a year later I felt ready to go out and about. I’m not really sure how Neighbourhood Care Scheme came into view, but when I contacted them and we met up, a lady was suggested to me that we might get along — and we did, for nearly six years.
I visited on a regular weekly basis, it was a good friendship — she had no living relatives, together with her disabilities becoming more restricting, and I was able to liaise with the social services and pension people. When she had to leave her sheltered home for a care home then a nursing home, I went too as it were.
After she passed away I had a short break, then the next two ladies I knew for only a very short time.
Then my present lady I visit has many physical problems, but her mind and wit are very sharp and she keeps me on my toes to know all the latest news or gossip on the town. This lady has a close family so my input is to bring outside news to her. Our visits often make me return to look things up, to tell her the next week.
It’s a challenge to enter a new person’s life but with a “let’s see what we both like and know”, it very quickly becomes a happy friendship.
The last twelve years have been great for me as well as opening up new avenues and keeping me busy and interested in all sorts of ways.
Just one last word. The volunteering is very worthwhile, made easy by the team at NCS who are always there for you and will listen to any problems that crop up, and help you.
This was written by Sheila Wood, an NCS volunteer, and published for Befriending Week 2015.
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