Victor & Peter’s Story
Peter, an NCS volunteer, is 80 years old. Here is an article he wrote a couple of years ago:
One morning, I went round to see my friend Victor. I visit him once a week for tea and a chat. This morning he was particularly pleased to see me. His left eye had been troubling him for several weeks and today he woke up in agony. He asked me to phone his Doctor. I soon became involved in a whole series of calls, including arrangements for an ambulance. My final job was to help the ambulance team get him out of his flat and off to the Eye Hospital.
Why had I to do all this for Victor? He has two problems. Severe arthritis in his legs makes it very difficult for him to leave his first floor flat. But his life is even more restricted by the fact that about five years ago he became totally deaf.
I was introduced to Victor almost three years ago by the NCS. In 2006 I joined the scheme as a volunteer. For my first two years I tried to support a very lonely and isolated man. This was not easy. Unfortunately I became seriously ill and had to give up for several months. When I recovered Naomi, the co-ordinator, asked me to meet Victor, who lives quite close to me. We hit it off very quickly. Victor has a lively interest in many things, but we found that we shared some particular interests: Football, Snooker and Tennis. Our weekly chats usually start with a roundup of the latest results from the Premier League, but if there is a Snooker tournament that will take precedence. Sometimes Victor may ask my advice about letters he has received or ask me to make an important telephone call. Communication between us is a little slow, because I have to write down all the things I wish to say. He can respond immediately, but then off I go again with pen and paper.
I am one of the hundreds of volunteers who work for NCS. It is work of great value to the community and is warmly appreciated by those, like Victor, who receive support. For those who volunteer the rewards are surprising. Though not every relationship is straightforward, the sense of satisfaction which comes from helping a fellow human being, even in a small way, is remarkable and very inspiring.
Margaret Thatcher once asserted, “There is no such thing as ‘Society’.” My reply is in my title: “We are all members one of another.”
Since this was written, Peter has helped Victor with housing issues and coordinating his care at the GP surgery. Another NCS volunteer has helped Victor set up his computer to do online shopping. Peter’s wife was so struck by his volunteering that she too became an NCS volunteer.
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