A Readycall Story
Readycall Macmillan provides befriending and practical support to people aged 60 and over in the Derbyshire Dales, who are vulnerable or isolated. Jill and Nick (a befriender) tell us about their own experiences with the service. Jill contacted Readycall after seeing a poster locally, she says:
I am normally very active and enjoyed going out walking, then I had an illness which put me in hospital for several months. My legs still aren’t very strong, which makes it difficult to go out on my own. Having been born in 1926, I do need help with ‘technology’ and the internet – this is important to me as my children are all over the world and I like to keep in regular contact.
Readycall introduced me to Nick, who now visits every week. He has enabled me to use my tablet and understand other bits of equipment. Nick has also accompanied me on local bus trips, giving me more confidence using public transport.
I’ve had a great deal of help from a very patient man and someone who allows me to do things for myself when I want to. It’s been nothing but positive!
From a Befriender’s perspective, it can be just as rewarding, as Nick says:
I saw an article in the Peak Advertiser and then picked up a leaflet locally. Now that I’m retired, I do some part-time work and am involved in my local Patient Participation group, but have more time on my hands. When I saw the information about Readycall, I felt I could be helpful to people that might need some assistance. I had previously spent a lot of time with my ‘in-laws’, helping out with day to day things and so can appreciate what a difference it makes.
I help in whatever way that Jill requires. I always listen to what Jill wants as I feel it’s important not to ‘take over’, just be ‘on hand’.
I enjoy it and look forward to my visits – it’s nice to feel helpful and it gives me the opportunity to talk and interact with someone. If you’re considering volunteering with Readycall, I’d say ‘just give it a go’ if you enjoy being with people and have time to spare.