Older people not forgotten during VE day celebrations
More than 20 older residents being supported by Alsager Community Support Centre during the pandemic had a sweet-tasting surprise on Friday to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
Volunteers, who are already supporting them regularly with shopping and a befriending service, delivered cakes to commemorate the end of World War Two in Europe on 8th May, 1945.
Eighty-eight-year-old Jean Doncaster, of Dennis Round Court, said: “It really gave me a lift - I was feeling a bit fed up. It's lovely to think that you're not forgotten. It was very much appreciated. Thank you.”
Anne Thomas, (96), was delighted with her delivery: “The cake was lovely; it was a nice surprise and it made my day,” she said.
The idea came from Alsager resident Anne Black who made several Victoria sandwich cakes. The whole process was carefully thought out and risk assessed beforehand.
Mrs Black's husband, David, made most of the deliveries, mainly to people in their 80s and 90s who were children or teenagers during the war.
Meanwhile, Alsager Community Support Centre has given an update on how it has been supporting people in need during the lockdown thanks to its long list of willing volunteers.
A volunteer, who only wanted to be known as John, described how in addition to helping with some shopping for a couple, he managed to put them in contact with their children via Skype on their iPad.
He said: “For the first time they have been able to see their children and grandchildren, with a four-way video conference between Alsager, Liverpool, London and Hong Kong.
“When I left, they were all chatting excitedly with each other and their grown-up children were absolutely over the moon!”
Mrs Pinkney said: “He is one of a number of volunteers who would be very willing to help anyone else in this way, by helping them to contact friends or family through their smartphone, tablet or laptop. It makes such a difference to be able to see the faces of our loved ones as well as hear their voices on the phone.”
Last week, staff received a call from a woman who was working from home and struggling to find a suitable seating arrangement. Support centre manager Liz Pinkney explained: “She had managed to find someone who would give her a desk, but it needed to be moved from the other side of Alsager. I made a call to a volunteer on my list who had told us he has a van, and within hours the lady had her desk!”
Mrs Pinkney herself said she was “blessed” last Thursday when she joined in her granddaughter Rebecca's virtual first birthday party on Skype.
She said: “I watched her play with her presents and then, to my delight, I saw her take her very first steps! I couldn't give her a hug or a kiss, but was still able to feel part of such a lovely occasion.”
To date the community support centre has delivered 175 prescriptions and has 57 active volunteers, helping 155 people by regular shopping and befriending calls.
Anyone needing help in Alsager, Church Lawton, Rode Heath or Scholar Green can call 01270 876605 or 873459. In the last seven weeks volunteers have successfully dealt with more than 500 calls.
The drop-in service at the community support centre is currently suspended, but regular volunteers are still available by phone or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The centre is always ready to help with support, advice or information on a wide range of issues, including financial, welfare, benefits, housing, legal or family matters, all done in strict confidence.
People are urged to get in touch if they are having problems and volunteers will do their best to advise them, or signpost them to other services, if necessary.