A Sheffield volunteer has hailed businesses’ generous PPE donations which have allowed her to continue visiting older people as part of a successful charity scheme.
Debra Towse, from Handsworth, had to stop volunteering as part of Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care’s (SCCCC) ‘Good Neighbour Scheme’ when the pandemic hit.
But now she and her fellow volunteers can resume their life-enhancing visits, thanks to donations by local businesses.
The vital donations ranged from hand sanitiser and face coverings, to thank you treats and sweets. It will now form part of PPE packs SCCCC is pulling together to keep its volunteers and service users safe as it restores one of its highest-profile and best-loved initiatives.
“I started volunteering for SCCCC in 2018 as my daughter visited an older person and told me about the scheme. I also went through a long period of isolation after an operation where I was reliant on people for visits. It was a very bleak time in my life, so it must be horrendous for anyone who lives alone with no means of any company. I knew I could find time to visit someone and that hopefully, this would make a difference.
“I visit Valerie once per week and I telephone twice a week too. I also phone Dennis twice a week and visit him occasionally, when he’s not bedbound. During lockdown I spoke to both on the phone, I had been worried that I couldn’t see them but I could tell the calls were gratefully received. I was upset that I couldn’t see then for the human contact that older people desire.
“But thanks to those wonderful companies who donated items for the volunteer PPE packs, I have been able to see Valerie again. It was lovely to see her, and she seemed so happy to see me. We chatted about the pandemic and absolutely put the world to rights. I will hopefully be able to see Dennis again soon.
“SCCCC is a brilliant charity which helps so many people. I have made two lovely friends by volunteering and have learnt so much about them. They have great stories to tell.”
SCCCC’s Good Neighbour Scheme aims to help the older members of the community by enhancing their quality of life. The service is provided free of charge with the basic aim of helping to combat loneliness for people over 65 living in Sheffield.
For more information about SCCCC, or to donate, please visit: www.scccc.co.uk/donate