Tower Street Finance’s Rebecca Scherman was able to catch up with an old friend in person for the first time this week since the Covid crisis began.
After moving to the UK from the States, Rebecca missed the connection she had with her older relatives, and with no family based here decided to look at volunteering opportunities with older people.
Around three years ago she was paired up with Joe, who served in the Second World War, through the charity Blind Veterans UK. Joe will be 100 in 2022 and has lost the majority of his sight, and she visited every week. Says Rebecca: “We’d spend around an hour together just talking – he is always keen to share stories from the past- and sometimes we’d go for a walk. He is lucky to have family in the area so I’m an extra friend for him who can purely be that.”
When Covid hit, the contact had to be limited to telephone. “That was hard for Joe, being isolated and blind, however he’s very independent and always remained positive and cheery throughout. As well as checking in and chatting, it was also an opportunity to listen out in case he needed any extra support so I could let the charity know.”
After a recent re-assessment of visits, Rebecca was able to go and see Joe in person for the first time in almost two years this week. “When I arrived, he’d shined up all his medals for me in honour of Remembrance Day and he looked fantastic. We had a lovely time and I look forward to seeing him regularly now!’
You can find out more about the charity and how you could become a volunteer at blindveterans.org.uk