Angela’s Story

Angela has been a Compassionate Neighbour volunteer since 2019. She shares her experience...

Angela’s Story

Angela has been volunteering as a Compassionate Neighbour since 2019. Until recently she supported a woman who had lost her husband after a lengthy illness, had no local family and who had mobility issues due to her own decline in health.  

She says:  “When I retired, I wanted to do something that would give back to my community. Becoming a volunteer for the hospice appealed to me, as I liked the idea of supporting someone local who needed a friend to talk to or some practical help at home or support getting out-and-about.  

“I supported the same woman for several years and we had a lovely relationship. Her illnesses meant that sometimes she wasn’t very mobile and didn’t feel up to going out. We would often chat about her late husband and her past life. She is a fiercely independent person and has helped others all her life, so accepting help for herself was difficult. 

“We would sometimes walk to the shops, and she loved chatting to everyone she knows. Her mobile phone is her lifeline, and the daily or weekly ‘face time’ chats with family around the world often cheered her up. There were times when she felt very isolated and sometimes this would get her down, so I would try and remind her of all the nice things she had accomplished around the house, or what we could do on my next visit.  

“I also helped her to complete forms as the weakness on one side of her body makes writing a challenge. Sometimes we did something simple like walk around the garden, look at the flowers, and have a good giggle about silly things that had happened during the week.  

“During covid, I supported her over the phone, but we returned to our normal face-to-face visits as soon as we could.  

“I had a fall not long ago, which caused a bone break. This experience made me understand what it is like to feel isolated and vulnerable. It also made me more understanding and empathetic.

 “Being a Compassionate Neighbour has made me appreciate how isolating being ill can be. Often the person is grieving for the life they used to have, which can affect their mental health. Sometimes the simplest task, seem like a huge mountain to climb if you have lost your mobility.” 

“Being a Compassionate Neighbour has added a richness to my life, as I feel I am making a difference to another person’s life through practical support and being a good and supportive friend.”