Here you can read about some of the local people who rely on the services we provide, and some of the amazing volunteers who give up their time to improve the lives of others. If you are inspired to volunteer or want to use one of our services, please get in touch.
Peggy was born in 1924. She grew up in Nottingham where she worked in the local lace factory and got married to Cyril who was a train driver. Now widowed, Peggy lives alone in Peterborough and her deteriorating eye sight has taken her confidence and left her feeling house bound.
“I don’t have any sight at all in my left eye. I have had two operations to try and fix my detached retina but without success. I now have macular degeneration and glaucoma in my right eye and have been told that I might lose my sight altogether. There are many things I used to enjoy that are a struggle now; I can manage to read with the help of a magnifier and large print newspaper, but miss simple things like going out for a meal as I can’t see what I’m eating any more. As well as my limited sight, I also have poor hearing too, so this makes me very worried about crossing roads and prevents me from going out alone”
Although Peggy has 2 children, she is conscious of the time they already spend looking after her. They have families themselves and have busy lives, so she doesn’t want to be a burden on them. Over the years, friends and neighbors have moved away and Peggy has felt increasingly isolated. She would like to get out of the house more but she does not have the confidence to go out alone. As well as the sun causing problems for the little sight she does have, Peggy is scared of getting lost or into trouble.
When Peggy was introduced to PAB in 2014, we thought she would benefit from our befriending scheme – a regular home visit from a trained volunteer.
“I would like to see more people because I get lonely on my own. I worry all the time about my hospital appointments and how I’m going to manage on my own. When Marie comes to visit, she reassures me, helps me read some post and stops me from worrying so much. Marie has been coming for about 5 months now. We chat about each other’s lives and what we have been doing since we last met. The befriending service is excellent – time just fly’s by and I really look forward to Marie visiting.”
Marie is 31 years old and lives in Peterborough with her fiancé Shaun. She is currently employed as a Customer Services Officer and enjoys many fitness activities including yoga, swimming, cycling, and strength training. She also likes to relax and read a book or watch a film when she is feeling less active!
“I was interested in doing some voluntary work, to support local blind and partially sighted people, so I contacted the PAB to see what volunteering roles they had available. I was very interested in the befriending service and before long I was introduced to Peggy. Initially, I did have concerns about whether we would get along, but I need not have worried as Peggy and I clicked straight away and we always have plenty to talk about!”
Marie visits Peggy regularly once a fortnight, for about an hour and a half. Not only is she providing company for Peggy, but also a link to the community and what is happening outside. She offers her reassurance and makes her feel less isolated. During her visits, Marie also helps Peggy with small tasks and has recently started accompanying her on PAB outings.
“I am so pleased I decided to volunteer as I get so much out of it. I love the fact that I make a difference to Peggy’s life but I also really look forward to seeing her as she makes me smile. I would definitely recommend the befriending service to anyone who is considering volunteering.”