Care Home Volunteers’ befriending service now being provided by post

Despite the majority of care homes now being closed to visitors, Care Home Volunteers‘ (CHV) befrienders are still managing to keep in touch with residents by writing cards and postcards, so bringing much cheer, news and continued contact.

CHV volunteers usually spend one-to-one time visiting the most socially isolated residents in local care homes, offering companionship, chatting, sharing interests and making a difference to their day. In some cases the resident may have no other visitors.

“I usually visit several residents,” one volunteer explained, “but as I can’t at the moment, I thought that I would send them a CHV greeting card to brighten their day instead.”

“Staff in care homes are doing an amazing job of continuing to provide a fantastic service to those in their care,” said CHV Chair Norman Edwards. “With staff now under increasing pressure, knowing that the residents have this contact has meant a great deal.”

One local care home manager agreed that “this lovely gesture has really lifted the spirits of our residents and staff, many of whom are very isolated by the current situation. It’s really heartening to know that others are thinking about them, even though they are probably isolated and missing contact with loved ones of their own. It’s so lovely to see communities coming together again to support each other in these very difficult times.”

“As soon as we heard that care homes were likely to have to close their doors to visitors we started to think about other ways CHV volunteers could stay in touch with the people that they normally visit” said Jeni Burchell, the Volunteer Coordinator for Swindon. “We had some special greetings cards printed for them to send – writing is such a lovely gesture, as the residents who receive the cards know that someone cares and is thinking about them. It helps re-connect them to the outside world. Many volunteers have also missed the contact they have with the residents they visit and are enjoying keeping in touch in this way. For some of our volunteers this has become a family affair: we have even had volunteers’ children send in pictures.”

For more information about becoming a volunteer befriender please contact Jeni Burchell on 07922 507848 or at swindon@carehomevolunteers.org.uk.

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