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Why the older members of the village should be making more use of the volunteers

by Andrew Auld

David Ashton

Co-chair, Crich Patient Participation Group

There are over 500 patients over 70 and who fall into the “at risk” category in the villages yet few are using the shopping service. This group should be self-isolating and avoiding unnecessary contact yet only 13% of the volunteers in the village are being used for shopping. Of course there are some who can’t do shopping for whatever reason, either they have a disability or have been told to stay in by the government; but there is also a large group who feel they shouldn’t use the volunteers.

I have been one of this group. Having always earned money since I was 12 and now still fit and able at 78, I value my independence. Together with my wife, we both thought we were perfectly capable of collecting our own prescriptions and doing the shopping. We did not want to “impose on others” or “bother” others. The idea of having other people “running after us” was an anathema, it implied that we were old and not capable of looking after ourselves. We were wrong.

As an at-risk group, if we go out and have contact with other people, as you must when shopping or collecting your prescription, you are increasing the risk of catching the virus. And because you are part of that at-risk group you are more likely to have to go to hospital for treatment. You are therefore placing more of a burden on the NHS, not to mention the worry to your family and friends. It makes sense in these circumstances to use the volunteers who are younger than you and therefore less likely to have to go to hospital if they do catch the virus. By staying at home you are doing your duty in protecting the community.

Mutual Aid Poster

In the Crich area we have over 170 volunteers who derive a sense of satisfaction by helping others and who are denied that opportunity if you do your own shopping, they volunteer because they want to help.

Think of the wider community and make your contribution by staying at home.

By using the volunteers you are doing the right thing by the wider community.

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