Louisa, a mum of two older children and frontline worker for the ambulance service, volunteers to support carers as part of our Breaks for carers in East Cambridgeshire project.
The project volunteers provide company for the person being looked after so that carers can take a break and do something they enjoy – such as going for a walk with a friend, going to the hairdressers, an exercise class or doing something at home such as gardening or spending time with other family members.
Louisa tell us why she decided to volunteer for Caring Together and how it has made a difference to her and to others.
Why did you decide to volunteer with Caring Together?
Whilst working for the ambulance service I attend to many people who are unwell who have a family member who is caring for them full time, or I may have to attend to the carer. Many people have spoken to me about the difficulties of this or how lonely it can be, or how they do not always have time to do other things they need to do. I have also met many people who would prefer not to attend hospital even if they need to as they are too worried about leaving their loved one, and they have no one else they can call to help. This is something I have always thought about and has made me appreciate how easy it is for me to just pop to the shop or do something I need to do. When I found out about Caring Together and the project giving carers a break it was something I definitely wanted to get involved in to help other people.
What is your volunteering role?
I am involved with giving carers a break, I make a visit on a Monday and spend two hours with a lady so her daughter (her carer) can have a break. Sometimes her break (the carer’s) is having a cup of tea and a chat with me as she enjoys company from other people. I also chat with her mum, she likes to tell me about her history, we play games and sometimes have a walk in the garden to look at the flowers.
What difference do you feel your volunteer role has made to you and to the people you support?
I really enjoy making my visits, I find talking to the people and finding out about history very interesting. I know they appreciate me visiting and giving my time for them to be able to do something or even just have some different company. It’s nice to feel that even a small amount of my time can make such a difference to someone else’s life.
Is there anything you would like to say about the role of Caring Together?
I have had the chance to meet some very nice people, including the Caring Together staff. It is comforting to know there are organisations out there that will help other people.
Volunteer with Caring Together
If you would like to join Louisa and help change lives of carers in your community, get in touch. You can call Jane, our volunteer co-ordinator, on 07843 327485 or email [email protected]
Jane will be happy to tell you about the variety of exciting volunteering opportunities across Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Norfolk.