Sheffield charity volunteers are going above and beyond to support the older generation during the coronavirus pandemic

Volunteers at a Sheffield charity are going above and beyond to support the older generation who are isolated during the coronavirus pandemic.

Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 10:24 am
Updated Thursday, 19th March 2020, 10:38 am
Rachel Cundy, Good Neighbour volunteer

Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care has mobilised its volunteers to support their communities beyond their normal roles.

The SCCCC’s good neighbour friendly visiting scheme, where older people are visited by volunteers on a regular basis, has been suspended until further notice to keep our older generation safe.

However, that does not stop them supporting older people in other ways.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Volunteers are doing a number of tasks, including food shopping, collecting prescriptions, telephoning their service user where possible and even writing to them.

Rachel Cundy, a good neighbour volunteer, said: “I love visiting my lady, but I know that having no face-to-face contact with her keeps her safe.

“I have been telephoning her on a regular basis and thought it would be nice for her to receive a letter through the post.”

Mark Storey, SCCCC chief executive officer, said: “This unprecedented decision to suspend the face-to-face service goes against all that we stand for in our ongoing fight to combat loneliness and isolation.

“However, by implementing this decision we are keeping both our service users and volunteers safe at this difficult time.”

SCCCC was established as an ecumenical charity in 1966 by members of churches from different denominations across Sheffield.

Today, the charity works with and seeks to continue working with, people of different faiths, secular groups and health professionals across the city for the benefit of older people.

The range of services SCCCC provides include hospital aftercare, A&E-to-home, hospital-to-home and the good neighbour scheme.

A dedicated team of SCCCC volunteers and staff are the backbone of this valuable work.

In many cases, the support of SCCCC ensures older people are able to leave hospital sooner.

SCCCC volunteers often play a significant role in helping older people who may have nobody else to turn to for practical or friendly support.