My name is Sheila, I am 77 years young and have been a volunteer support worker for Elf for six months. I saw the advert for Elf in the Express and Echo and thought 'I could do that'!

The lady I support lives on her own, cannot go out on her own and, like many of us, has family who work and do not live locally. So, apart from a cleaner who comes weekly and an occasional hairdresser, she spends a lot of time on her own. I love visiting her and usually spend about two hours with her once a week. She is a little older than me and we talk about things we remember from our childhood, what we have read in the paper or watched on TV. Our families, holidays we have had, in fact anything that pops into our heads. I might do some shopping for her, take her cake I have made, or some rhubarb or lettuce from the garden. And she knows she can ring me if she just wants to hear a friendly voice. I think she enjoys my company. I certainly enjoy hers and look forward to visiting her.

My partner was attending Haematology last year for chemotherapy and I wish I had had someone to visit me. Being a volunteer gives purpose and pleasure to my life. I feel needed.


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