Edward* is 90 years old; he lives alone and is shielding due to COVID-19. He is one of the 500 people that our Community and Wellbeing Services team and volunteers have been supporting throughout the pandemic, in all sorts of ways. We had a chat with Edward about the difference this support has made to him.
Tell us a bit about what life was like before the pandemic, and how the last few months have impacted you.
Well, I would say lonely. But, after living alone for a while before lockdown, you do learn to live by yourself. I was reasonably self-sufficient before lockdown, because my family live away. The last year, year and a half, I have been in and out of hospital so I did have carers coming in until I no longer needed them.
Life went back to being able to be ‘where I like, when I like, and how I like’. But that was all before now. I can’t do my own shopping now. My family tried to put me on the list for online shopping but there were 75,000 people on the list.
How has Mental Health Concern supported you?
I get different calls each week. One is from a gentleman who volunteers but also works for the council. He offers to help me – he phones me every Friday, which is very good of him.
I also get calls from James. He and I are similar age, so we had lots to talk about, and that has kept me busy. He loves ancestry. He did my family tree, which was something I didn’t think I would see. I didn’t ask him to do that, but he did. And now I have a family tree back until 1712!
I also have a list of people I call up to see how they are. I have my shopping list collected one day, and delivered within three days!
How has life changed since you got in contact with us?
It stops me from staring at the four walls. And that’s the biggest thing. There is nothing better than the spoken word, I am so grateful for the people you have put me in contact with.
*All names have been changed for privacy