This is something I have thought about for a long time. Initially I thought about befriending an older person, someone who perhaps doesn’t have much family, at least nearby. This is something that still interests me but for now things have gone in a slightly different direction.
Agate House is a local residential home for adult with severe disabilities. It one of the Leonard Cheshire homes. After much prevarication, I took the plunge and emailed in offering to volunteer, maybe on a one to one basis. Further prevarication took place, but this time it wasn’t me! The red tape had to be done, there were forms to fill in and I had to prove that I’m not a criminal. I also had a workbook to complete about safeguarding, it’s been a long time since I’ve had to do homework! Finally all was done and I was certified as suitable to set free on the unsuspecting residents.
My first day of volunteering arrived and I headed down to Agate House with slight trepidation. Would I know what to say to anyone? What would they think of me? In I went anyway and everyone was really friendly which was great. But to my surprise my job was to help do the crossword. It was only the quick crossword but it’s been a while since I’ve done anything like that so I was feeling rather rusty! However, everyone else was much better so we did get to the end of it.
Since then I have been every Saturday bar one since then doing a mixture of helping with the group and one to one with a gentleman called Paul. I don’t know what has happened to Paul and I don’t need to know. He has very poor motor skills, is unable to do much for himself at all and his speech is very poor. Life can be so very cruel. He has a computer which he can operate one painful key stroke at a time. It is very tiring for him and incredibly frustrating but he maintains his composure. I have certainly learned how lucky I am and will try hard not to take my health for granted. I will continue to visit Agate House every Saturday and try to make a positive difference.