Patricia Rose explains how Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin helped her and what made her want to help other local older people.
'I remember watching a program on television about older people who had sadly lost their partners, and spoke of not seeing anyone for days at a time, and how isolated they felt. This was some time ago now and I must admit I was really touched by their plight. At the time I didn’t know very much about Age UK and all the brilliant work they do to help older people.
Shortly after my husband had come home from hospital, and was recovering from major heart surgery, we had a visit from a lovely lady by the name of Angela Jebb. Angela is the Senior Coordinator for Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin for our area. She asked if we needed help with anything, such as help with the bin collections and other aspects of daily life, which was very helpful indeed.
Angela was able to show us lots of books and leaflets that explained the many areas that Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin are able to help. I must say we were very impressed. They work tirelessly to combat loneliness and isolation for older people, and for health too. With an ever increasing aging population, their work is so valuable, especially their Befriending service.
Later that day I began thinking what can I do to help? I have my own health problems and so I couldn’t offer to help out with befriending. But then I thought about my poetry, and I do have a good many poetry books left from being published some years ago, which are a trio of books ‘Garden of the Heart’, 'Tapestry of Verse’ and ‘A Curtain of Faith - Words to Inspire'.
So I contacted Angela to see if they would be of any use to Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin at our local day centre. Angela then came up with the idea of handing out lots of the books to their befrienders who in turn could read some of the poems to their older clients when they visit them each week.
I am delighted to say the poetry books have been well received, and I am especially pleased to know my books have been put to good use and as poetry is now back in fashion, I hope they are helping in some small way.'
Angela Jebb, Senior Co-ordinator at Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin, said: 'Our befrienders were really excited about having these wonderful books to read with the lonely and isolated people they visit. It is well known, but perhaps forgotten at times, that creative activities like this lift the mood, bring back memories and are an endless source of different things to talk about. They will be well received and much appreciated.'
Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin has 850 volunteers, each making a difference to the lives of older people in the county in a variety of roles. Volunteers are our lifeblood, without them we would not be able to deliver the support and services we offer to local older people.
If you would like to know more about volunteering for Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin please call Claire or Janice from our Volunteer Recruitment team on 01743 588 570.