accessibility & help

British Red Cross seek volunteers for Cornwall care in the home service

For immediate release    Thursday 15 March, 2012
For further information    Samantha Whitwham SWhitwham@redcross.org.uk
Contact number        0117 301 2624 or 07525 128297

The British Red Cross in Cornwall is looking for compassionate volunteers to provide practical and emotional support to vulnerable people across the county.

The charity offers short-term care and support in the home for people after an accident or illness, giving them the confidence and independence to continue their daily lives. The Red Cross can also loan medical equipment and provide door-to-door transport for people unable to get about easily.

One person to benefit from the Red Cross service is Annie Lindow from Falmouth. Annie, 58, suffers with agoraphobia which makes it extremely difficult for her to leave her house. Annie has ME and mobility problems and receives regular support from David Miller, a Red Cross care in the home volunteer who transports Annie to and from hospital and GP appointments – the only times when she leave the house.

After one doctor’s appointment, Annie asked David, 74 from Falmouth, to help her go shopping for the first time in over seven years.

Annie said: “I said I’d love to go into that shop and see some fruit and veg because I just don’t see that sort of thing. I was terrified. Even in the wheelchair, I felt like I was going to fall but David’s very strong and very safe.

“He wheeled me into the shop and it was big enough that I could look around even in the wheelchair. It was delivery day so there were vegetables in crates on the floor. I thought I might get stuck but it was lovely. The people in the shop were fabulous and David was absolutely wonderful.”

David was happy to help. He said, “Annie said she couldn’t go into the shop, but I said, you can. I put her in her wheelchair and we went in together. It was unbelievable seeing someone do that after seven-and-a-half years.”

Annie explained: “I’m so grateful to the Red Cross. I can’t thank them enough. They have always managed to find a volunteer to help me when I need them. I’ve got to know the different volunteers and they’re all lovely.”

David has been volunteering for the Red Cross for three years and thoroughly recommends it. He said: “I love meeting people and helping them. Lots of people need lots of help and I wish I could do more. You get out and meet so many different people.  I’ll keep volunteering as long as I can.”

Volunteers need to be compassionate and have a friendly and caring personality. The role requires volunteers to make home visits giving practical support based on individual needs. This could include shopping, collecting prescriptions, companionship and also providing emotional support whilst helping to rebuild confidence.

The service is free and available on a short-term basis. Referrals come from GPs, primary care trusts, social workers and people can also self-refer.

The Red Cross in Truro also runs a short term hire and sales service for medical equipment stocking wheelchairs, commodes, walking aids, toileting aids and many other products. Staff will be pleased to give advice, suggest a suitable donation and offer delivery options.

To find out more, please contact Celia Newcombe, health and social care team leader on 01872 267955 or email: cnewcombe@redcross.org.uk

To find out more about Red Cross health and social care services, visit redcross.org/health-and-social-care

Ends

Notes to editors

For more information on the British Red Cross please visit: http://www.redcross.org.uk

The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.

We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.

Follow us on Twitter: @BRC_West

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