We must continue to step up for the most vulnerable in our communities
The coronavirus pandemic has meant that life in Britain has changed. More than 1 in 5 people over 50, living with an underlying health condition are scared to leave their homes.
65-year-old musician and ex-RAF technician Stan Acaster from Walford in Herefordshire suffered a stroke last year and is having treatment for macular degeneration. His condition means he’s unable to drive to the regular appointments he has to attend and he can’t afford a taxi for the 44-mile round trip to hospital.
Like many others with pre-existing medical conditions, Stan was advised to ‘shield’ for a number of months. This meant staying at home, avoiding public transport, and not seeing any friends or relatives. But in doing this to protect himself from coronavirus, Stan was also cutting himself off from his usual support network, meaning that he was alone with nowhere to turn for company or for support with attending his appointments.
“I can’t go to see my friends. Sadly I have lost seven of them due to the virus – it does strike home. I miss my grandchildren.”
Thankfully, Royal Voluntary Service was able to send volunteer Andrew to support Stan and accompany him to and from his appointments at this worrying time. With Andrew wearing the appropriate PPE and having his car thoroughly cleaned after each journey,
Stan is able to travel safely and not have to worry about missing vital treatments. It’s also been very reassuring for Stan to have a friendly and familiar face at each appointment, and Andrew is now even helping Stan to get his shopping when he needs it.
“Andrew has gone above and beyond. All the volunteers seem like lovely people. I’d like to thank everyone for their service. You never know when life is going to throw a curveball and you need help. We don’t all have neighbours and partners who can help. That’s why Royal Voluntary Service has to continue.”
This Christmas we are teaming up with the Christmas Together Campaign, a coalition of community groups and organisations to combat loneliness this Christmas. Fear of Covid and restrictions mean many of us will be left feeling cut off, anxious and isolated this winter.
Our services provide a lifeline to people in hospitals and in the community – to those who find themselves in a vulnerable situation and in need of some support.
Every day we are carrying out 4,600 asks, which equates to 1 every 19 seconds
This winter, we will:
- Make hundreds of thousands of calls offering companionship, support and advice
- Support people returning home from hospital and help them to get back on their feet
- Deliver essential food, toiletries and prescriptions to people unable to leave their homes
- Transport people to important medical appointments
- Deliver thousands Personal Emergency Plans to vulnerable people
- Address loneliness by delivering in-home activities through our ‘virtual village hall’ to help tackle the issues arising from isolation and help protect physical and mental health
- Help people to stay safe, warm and well through a targeted information campaign aimed towards older and vulnerable people who struggle at this time of year.
With your help we can give vulnerable people the support they desperately need to get through this extremely difficult time
Royal Voluntary Service is standing with our NHS to help the most vulnerable people in our communities during this crisis. Your donation could be a lifeline to someone like Stan.
In the face of national crisis, it is vital that we continue to help strengthen our communities and support the NHS. But we need funds in place now to make that possible. Please send your emergency donation today – anything you can give could make a life-changing difference.