We all realise that the convenience of digital communications is not available to everyone in our community and older people in particular may find it hard suddenly to adopt this technology, just when it is most important for wellbeing to continue feeling connected.
Three weeks ago and anticipating the possibility of that loss of connection for some, Revd Erwin began preparing a scheme which has now been up and running successfully from the start of the lockdown period.
With the help of 10 volunteers, regular (at least once a week) telephone contact is made with people who are on a list held by Revd Erwin. Those on the list have either asked to be added to it or have been referred by others as likely beneficiaries of the scheme.
In all cases, Erwin makes contact before pairing volunteers with beneficiaries.
25 people are currently on the contact list and there are 10 phone buddies.
At present there is no need for more volunteers but this may change if the contact list expands, for instance if Erwin is contacted by or told about more people in a vulnerable situation who would be pleased to receive an occasional call from one of the church volunteers.
Contact details for Erwin are here.
All the above is about St Mary’s scheme.
In Wivenhoe a phone buddy scheme also runs under the umbrella of Wivenhoe Mutual Aid in much the same way. WMA can be contacted on 07394 910486.
Please can Rev Erwin contact my retired friend, Phillip Moore on 826363 as he is having difficulty coping with ‘lockdown’ and getting his shopping etc for his Celiac condition. He has also recently damaged his back and finds doing things painful. He lives alone, having lost his wife more than 10 years ago.
Please approach him with care, as he is very suspicious of strangers knowing his personal situation. He has two young families in the area, but not local to Wivenhoe; so providing help is not easy for them.
I am unable to help, as my wife and l live 300+ miles away. Phillip has a Christian faith and is linked to a local Free church in the north of Colchester. Thank you very much indeed for any help you can give or arrange, that he will accept.
Thank you for contacting us. Your message has been passed to the Rector.