At In Great Company, we know how much friendship and connection mean to people – not only to those who volunteer their time, but more so the seniors whose lives are improved by the company of others. This month, we sat down with a client, Lorraine,
and asked her about her experience with her volunteer visitor, Helen.
Why did you decide to register for the In Great Company companionship program? What did your weeks look like before you started the program?
I was very lonely, and someone from Feros Care suggested a friendly visitor. I think it was Alison who set it up for me – then Helen just turned up at my door.
I was just sitting at home, not doing much, looking at my four walls, and I wasn’t going out anywhere before Helen arrived.
Tell us a bit about your volunteer companion: how often do you meet? What activities do you do together?
We have been meeting weekly for about a year now, about 4 hours each time. We do a bit of gardening or go for a drive somewhere if the weather is nice. We went to Childers one time, and we’ve been to the Bay and had fish and chips with a malted
milkshake which I love. She’s been taking me to the physiotherapist recently for my arm as it’s been sore, so she’s able to take me to my appointments on a Monday. That will be regular until I get my arm better.
We are planning to go to Teddington Weir next. Just because the virus is around doesn’t mean we can’t continue to go out to open spaces where there are no people, and we can stay safe.
Helen and Lorraine
How has your life changed since meeting with your volunteer companion? What are you most proud of?
Fantastic, I love Helen, she brings me joy, and we have a good laugh together. She is very close to me. She makes me happy. Maybe it’s her personality. We get on so well together.
I am proud that I can go out, although I don’t want to get the virus. If we keep our social distance from people, we can still go out.
We just sit inside and chat if we can’t go out and have a cuppa or a bit of lunch together.
I was able to see my old hairdresser Tom on the first anniversary of being matched! I’m not able to get there anymore on my own, so Helen kindly took me to get my hair done, which was so lovely. She is thinking of getting her hair done together now!
What would you like to achieve together in the future?
Just continue going out with Helen. Anywhere we go is fine! Even simply being in each other’s company.
What advice would you give to someone who is interested in the In Great Company companionship program?
I would tell them to get out and enjoy themselves. There is no point staying home and looking at four walls. I would tell them about In Great Company, and maybe they could have a friendly visitor matched with them too.