I have been a Community Neighbour now for about 5 years and I have really enjoyed helping and talking to someone who has little to look forward to and has a debilitating condition which renders them unable to enjoy everyday life. I feel that I help to make them feel better about themselves and so enable them to cope with life in general. It also helps me to cope with life since I lost my husband almost 5 years ago we all have something to give to each other and benefit from it!
I decided to volunteer for St Mary’s as I just felt like I wanted to give something back to the community. I became a community neighbour because I’d been a nurse. I was a Nurse for 30 years, even from a young age it was what I’d always wanted to do. Having lost members of my own family I knew what people were going through and wanted to help people who are on their own.
I enjoy my role as I enjoy benefiting people. It’s all about seeing them with a smile on their face. I’ve been seeing 3 different people and you get to know them quite well. I do a lot with the people I go and see. I have a lady who I take out. I use to do a man’s shopping for him. He loved talking so I would spend time just having a chat with him. A lot of the time these are people who don’t have any relatives nearby and find themselves quite lonely. This one man I went to see loved going out and every week he would chat to his neighbour and decide where we would go. I’d turn up and we’d go all sorts of places he hadn’t been before like Hayes garden centre and the candle factory. I also took him through to Broughton where he’d grown up so it was like going back in time for him.
I’ve been a member of the Duddon support group for 3 years now. We’re always baking and putting on cake stalls. It’s great working with other people on the committee. You get a mix of personalities. It’s very rewarding as it’s nice to get out there and know it’s going to help people who are ill.