Help is just a phone call away

The Covid crisis hasn’t stopped LEAP helping the most isolated
people at this time as Alan Roden and Thomas Walton prove.

Thomas had been on LEAP’s waiting list for a one-to-one
befriender such was the popularity of the charity’s scheme.
Meanwhile, Alan had volunteered to be a telephone befriender
after the person he used to visit as a befriender sadly passed
away.

Helen Jilks, LEAP’s volunteer development officer for East
Kilbride, thought they might get on well, so put them in touch with
one another in April.

In a matter of weeks, the two have hit it off despite never having
met.

Helen said: “They get on very well with both saying it has livened up lockdown having someone else to talk to.”

Alan (73), a retired firefighter, agreed saying: “It’s really good to have someone new to talk to and share some of the experiences of this pandemic with. I think I get as much out of talking to Thomas as he does, but it’s not just a chat that’s important.

“Thomas had been getting his shopping delivered by his brother however his brother became poorly and Thomas was worried about how to get food and medication. I told him about LEAP’s personal shopping service and Thomas now gets a fortnightly delivery of his shopping.”

For Thomas (84), who spent most of his working life supporting students in Sunderland, having someone to talk to is a lifeline.

He said: “At my age it’s hard to get out and meet new people so having Alan call is really uplifting. We chat about everything and anything and get on really well considering we’ve only known one another for a matter of weeks and have never met.”

While Alan and Thomas can look forward to meeting at some point when social restrictions allow, they are proof that people can develop new friendships and lift their spirits at this time.

If you know someone who might benefit from a phone call or get their shopping delivered – or you are interested in volunteering with LEAP, check their website at www.leap-project.co.uk or call 0141 641 5169

HOW ARE YOU? ... Alan and Thomas keep in touch by phone

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