“I’m so glad you rang, I was feeling really down earlier but we certainly put the world to rights, aye! I feel so much better now, really look forward to you ringing again."

The quote above reflects just how the ‘Good Neighbours Service’ is changing lives for the better.

Funded through the Integrated Care Fund, the project connects community volunteers with older people who may be feeling isolated and lonely at home.

While aiming to improve the happiness and wellbeing of local people, it also provides volunteers with new experiences and opportunities to build skills.

 

Colin who lives alone in Pontypridd said the service has been very good for him:

“It’s been very good for me because I live on my own.  Lockdown hasn’t been good for me as I suffer with anxiety and depression. In Autumn I caught COVID-19, and was very poorly in hospital. I now have damage to my lungs and have to have CT scans.

“Pauline, the volunteer who calls me, has been a friendly voice throughout all of this time. I love playing guitar (I have five!), and singing. I was even on Britain’s Got Talent 12 or so years ago! I talk to Pauline about songs and music, which really cheers me up.

“I’ve got to know Pauline as she calls me once a week. The Good Neighbours Service is marvellous as otherwise I am stuck in the house and don’t speak to anyone.”

 

Like Pauline, Helen is a volunteer for the Good Neighbours service.

Helen’s younger son has autism, and as a result, she hasn’t been able to work for a while. When Helen’s son started school, Helen had a bit more free time, and wanted to help people.

Helen said: 

“My sister’s boyfriend mentioned the idea of volunteering to me. It sounded like such a great thing to do. When I first joined as a Good Neighbours volunteer, I was supporting one lady for one day per week. We got on so well, we ended up speaking several days a week and built up a friendship.

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Helen, Volunteer for Good Neighbour's Service:

“Volunteering for Good Neighbours has been a blessing. I absolutely love it. This volunteering is helping me too as we’ve all got our own things going on.

It’s nice to meet other people and sometimes I’m on the phone for an hour! It’s really special listening to other people.”