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Staying In Touch When We're Apart

by Linda Philo

two people talking on the phone

by Cathy Bowness, Luncheon Club volunteer

We’ve always considered ourselves as being a ‘close knit’ group of members and volunteers, but in the last few weeks we have found ourselves referring to our club as one big family unit.

Luncheon Club members

Crich Luncheon Club normally meets every Wednesday in the Glebe where members enjoy socialising, being entertained and a tasty meal. All organised by our team of volunteers!

Now this has changed and unfortunately all of our members and many of our volunteers are unable to enjoy any socialisation. It’s a sad fact that many of them are at home and alone.

We continue to keep in touch and each volunteer has been allocated two or three of our members to contact - a friendly voice at the end of a phone, even singing Happy Birthday!

Many love to chat and reminisce. Others have shared telephone numbers with each other. We can also find out in these conversations if they are coping with the isolation and if they need any other help.

two volunteers collecting meals

Many of our members have benefitted from the meal provision, organised through the Support Network. Toni and Tim Shepherd have provided delivered ready meals. Dawn and Tony Harper have also catered from home, cooking hot plated meals.

Luncheon Club and other volunteers deliver these and it was the highlight of many people’s day. It’s been such a positive way of keeping in touch.

There are some good things that have evolved from this crisis: working as teams to support the most vulnerable, meeting new friends with a common aim and learning how to be more efficient with technology - a challenge for some!

gentleman from luncheon club

We miss seeing all of our members together on Wednesday mornings but to quote a recent comment: ‘We won’t half have a good party when we all finally do get together!’

People are already discussing how we can continue some of the good things which have happened, for instance, utilising the new army of volunteer helpers, possibly continuing with a meals service and how using technology can help to keep us more in touch with each other.

Sheila and volunteer Margaret
Sheila and volunteer Margaret

How Life Has Changed by Sheila Goodhead from Crich Luncheon Club

It’s a difficult time when you can’t visit family or neighbours, at least in the 1940s during the war we could see people and could put a face to our enemy!

But we must go into battle and beat this virus together I wanted to say ‘Thank you’ to all the village volunteers looking out for friends, neighbours and the vulnerable people in and around Crich and its neighbouring villages.

The shops in the village, changing the way they provide food and essentials to people who can’t get out has been great and a real help and lifeline for many. I know other people who go to Crich Luncheon Club have found this really helpful, we (members and helpers), have all been telephoning each other to have a chat and this has been a topic of conversation, along with Dawn Harper and her catering service; this has been an absolute blessing. Fresh, tasty home-cooked food, delivered to the door – thank you Dawn and her army of helpers for delivering our lunches!

Thank you should also go to the volunteers from Care Line who ring every week to see if us ‘oldies’ are okay, although some of us are lucky enough to have family and friends that telephone
regularly but I know many don’t hear from anyone all week.

So, keep smiling, keep social distancing and stay in safe!

Sheila Goodhead

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