I had volunteered for Cheshire Wildlife Trust for almost 10 years when lockdown happened and all volunteering came to a halt. I saw the call on Audlem Online for volunteers to help people who were housebound and shielding with shopping and collecting prescriptions.
During the course of this last year I have met so many interesting people from the village. I have heard stories from residents who have lived in the village for many years. I’ve had wide-ranging doorstep conversations about families, travel, local and national politics and the very significant difference between a Warburton’s wholemeal loaf and a Co-op wholemeal loaf!
Some of the people I’ve delivered shopping to have been quite inspirational, for example the lady who is in her eighties who walks on her treadmill for over an hour every day because it not only helps her asthma but also helps her mental health.
I’ve also been able to ensure that those who have been most cut off from friends and families are coping both physically and mentally; this was particularly important around Christmas time to ensure that everyone had some human contact during the festive season.
I’ve seen first-hand the trepidation from some residents when they left their homes for the first time for almost 12 months to go and get their vaccination. I’ve heard the longing in the voice of a lady who has watched the bus go past her cottage for a year but who now feels that, after having her second vaccination, she can once again catch the bus to meet her friends for coffee.
Whilst I have helped my local community, I also feel that I’ve made many friends and gained so much from the experience. I hope to continue supporting ADCA in the future.