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Over the last few months, volunteering for St Barnabas House has been mostly on hold. One role that has been able to continue is our Community Companions offering telephone befriending.
Volunteer Sue has been phoning a patient once a week, and has said it is so rewarding for her to be able to help in some way still.
She says, “As we went into lockdown I was waiting for a new patient to visit. The Community Companions service could no longer offer visits to St Barnabas patients, due to COVID-19, which seemed such a sad situation at a time when befriending support was more essential than ever.
I was asked if I would be prepared to make a weekly telephone call to a patient for a friendly chat. I thought this was a great idea! I had one call with my new patient before she was admitted to St Barnabas for a short time and during that time I sent her a little note each week just to keep in touch.
Now she is home, our telephone calls have resumed and are getting longer each week! Although she is very poorly we found we have much in common and our chats are equally rewarding for both of us. Hopefully we will have the opportunity for me to visit before too long.
Being a Community Companion is an important part of my life and it’s been great to continue that role, albeit in a different way.”
Sue’s patient, Mary, really enjoys her calls.
She says “I am so pleased Sue is my Companion. Even when I was in the hospice, she still sent me beautiful cards she had made herself. I always look forward to her call – we have some things in common and enjoy talking about the plants and flowers in the garden. I really enjoy chatting to Sue.”