We’re celebrating #2022VolunteersWeek! Andrea Longley is a Dementia Befriender Volunteer with Link Age Southwark.
Name: Andrea Longley
Role: Dementia Befriender
Organisation: Link Age Southwark
What the nominee said about Andrea: “Andrea has been a wonderfully dedicated Link Age Southwark volunteer befriender to a lady who is living with dementia in Southwark.
Andrea’s befriendee is an 86 year old lady who lives alone with no next of kin in London. She was referred to our dementia befriending service in late 2020. Volunteer befriender Andrea began telephone-befriending her in February 2021 as we were experiencing the second wave of the pandemic. Then, as society began to open up again and LAS resumed face-to-face befriending, Andrea started to visit her befriendee at home once a week.
This is something that the service user has been delighted about as she had always reported feeling very socially isolated. On experiencing acute knee issues a few years ago and with her dementia worsening, this service user’s social circle had begun to wane; she became increasingly unable to leave her flat to attend her weekly social clubs and go out for walks in her local park.
This is where befriender Andrea’s weekly visits have truly come into their own. Andrea engages in conversation with her befriender who is, by her own admission, a naturally very sociable person. Andrea and she do the crossword together most weeks . Also, Andrea who is green-fingered has been helping her to revive her indoor plants, many of which took a hit when her mobility declined.
Though Andrea reports that her befriendee does not recall her name from one week to the next, she feels that she greatly enjoys her company and her regular visits.
Over time, Andrea and her befriendee have become quite close. The lady was very touched when Andrea offered to visit her son’s grave on her behalf. This proved to be of great comfort to her who had been troubled at not being able to visit her son’s grave since becoming housebound.
Finally, Andrea has fundraised for a wheelchair for her befriendee – the referral process through NHS/Social Service was proving lengthy – and they intend to go for walks together in the local park as soon as the weather permits.”
If you need any volunteer advice or support, please do get in touch: email@example.com and take a look at our web pages under ‘volunteering’.
What’s happening for #VolunteersWeek2022!
Find out what’s happening throughout the week (1-7 June) and how you can get involved on the NCVO Volunteers’ Week website here.