- Advertisement -

PROUD SUPPORTER

Saturday, 19 September 2020

CHARITY TODAY AWARDS

Volunteer’s birthday gesture breaks isolation sadness for Sheffield man, 93

- Advertisement -
A friendly visiting volunteer from Sheffield surprised a lonely 93-year-old man on his birthday, delivering cake, a card and a jigsaw puzzle to cheer him up after lockdown isolation made him feel down.

Fran O’Callaghan, aged 48, from Wharncliffe Side, hand-delivered the birthday food parcel from a distance having met birthday boy Jack as part of Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care’s (SCCCC) Good Neighbour Scheme.

Fran signed up to the charity’s flagship scheme earlier this year and was paired with Jack for weekly friendly visits.

But with visits being postponed due to lockdown, she has been so desperate to do something to help Jack, who’s not been out of the house since his wife passed away two years ago.

Fran said:

“Towards the end of last year, there was a feature on the news about loneliness in older people. I saw on social media about SCCCC needing volunteers for friendly visiting and got in touch with them to see if I could help.

“I started visiting Jack once a week, at first for an hour, but we got on so well that sometimes three hours would pass. I love visiting him; we talk about everything from cooking, hobbies, gardening, fishing and animals. He’s usually so jolly and upbeat.

“When lockdown began I started phoning him rather than visiting and he sounded so down – really not himself. I knew it was his birthday coming up so I wanted to cheer him up. I had bought him a jigsaw puzzle and didn’t want to put it in the post in case it didn’t get there.

“I checked with the team at SCCCC and they said as long as I kept a safe distance and wore PPE I could leave it on his doorstep. I phoned Jack and he was up for it – he knew I wouldn’t be able to go into the house.

“So off I went, I took him a food parcel with some little buns in, and sung happy birthday from the bottom of the garden. It really cheered him up. I go over once a week now with a food parcel with homemade pie and pudding for him, all at a safe distance. We chat for ten minutes or so, him on his doorstep, me at the end of his garden.

“He is really missing my visits, he really looks forward to them. He doesn’t have carers so doesn’t see many people, and it is really lonely for him without Jean, he misses her greatly.

“I’ve promised him that when the lockdown is over I’ll take him to Elsecar Heritage Centre to see the steam trains and we’ll have lunch. I can’t wait to see him again. He’s an inspiration.”

Jack and Fran

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.

Due to the pandemic, the scheme is postponed for face-to-face visits, with older people still receiving support from volunteers through telephone calls and handwritten letters.

However, SCCCC is still extremely busy supporting older people on discharge from hospital, providing practical and emotional assistance at times of need and supporting the NHS where it can, safely.

For more information about SCCCC, or to donate, visit www.scccc.co.uk/donate

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Stay Connected

1,362FansLike
1,834FollowersFollow
30,059FollowersFollow
1,200SubscribersSubscribe

Must Read

New report: How to tackle climate change through community action

THE National Lottery Community Fund has today published a new report sharing learning and insights from recent environmental projects made possible thanks to National...

Famous faces show their support for first-ever virtual RBC Race for the Kids

HARRY Potter star, Jason Isaacs, Downton Abbey actor, Matt Barber, Great British Bake Off favourite, Candice Brown and actor, Michelle Collins will be pounding...
- Advertisement -

Employment News

Samaritans appoints Keith Leslie as new Chair of Trustees

THE leading suicide prevention charity in the UK and ROI has appointed Keith Leslie as the new Chair of Trustees at Samaritans. Keith joins Samaritans...

The Big Issue makes two new appointments

THE Big Issue is expanding its reporting team with the appointment of a new Digital Editor and the newly created role of Digital Producer. Alastair...

New asbestos-related cancer nurse specialist appointed for South Tyneside and Sunderland

JOANNE Anderson has been appointed as a new Mesothelioma UK Clinical Nurse Specialist at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust. Joanne will be...

Related News

Disability Action Yorkshire learners benefit from Freemasons Coronavirus grant

DISABLED students in Harrogate are being aided in their lessons thanks to a local Masonic Lodge. Harlow Lodge secured a grant of £1,500 to enable...

Awards project receives grant boost

A share of £600,000 has been awarded to three West Midlands organisations to create inclusive arts and cultural projects linked to the Commonwealth Games,...

Auntie’s fundraising for miracle baby Kayleigh

THE auntie of a young baby who was operated on during her birth has fundraised for a Manchester hospital which helped save her niece’s...

Revolutionary piece of equipment will support surgeons operating during pandemic

LEEDS Cares funds revolutionary piece of equipment to help support surgeons operating during the pandemic. Leeds Cares has announced that Leeds Teaching Hospitals is now...

Samaritans appoints Keith Leslie as new Chair of Trustees

THE leading suicide prevention charity in the UK and ROI has appointed Keith Leslie as the new Chair of Trustees at Samaritans. Keith joins Samaritans...
- Advertisement -
X