Marta – Community Supporter Volunteer
Hi Marta, so tell us how you volunteer. I’m a volunteer befriender for a lovely lady called Ruth, and I visit her every week, which I’ve been doing for 2 years now.
Why do you visit Ruth? She has long term physical health conditions and this has made her feel very nervous and lacking in confidence to go out of the house.
What do you do with her? We have lovely long chat catch ups and watch EastEnders. We always laugh a lot, and put the world to rights, as Ruth says.
Do you share any activities or common interests? Recently Ruth has got back into knitting and started making a baby cardigan for one of her great-grandchildren. Being a knitter myself we found yet another thing we have in common. She was stuck for baby patterns so I have taken out a few books from the library and found a few patterns we both liked. One of my friends is expecting a baby so great timing for me to get back into knitting too and make some baby stuff for her.
Do you enjoy your visits or are they a chore? Not at all! I love it. This is my favourite evening of the week and I look forward to the visit. It helps me get out of work on time which is already a good start and then I know we’ll have a nice relaxed evening together. What I’ve gotten out of the visits is a positive and invaluable experience for me for so many reasons.
What do you think Ruth enjoys most? Ruth always mentions how some of the family that help her out with chores or visits often cancel or just don’t turn up when arranged, so I feel happy that she can always rely on my Thursday visit being regular and I make sure I can make it every week, as I see how it makes her feel when other people can’t make it.
Any particularly special moments? A couple of weeks ago we watched some DVD’s of Rita’s son’s wedding and of her husband’s funeral. As you can imagine we cried happy and sad tears but it was nice to share that moment with her.
Anything you would like to say to other potential volunteers? I really feel I have learnt so much about myself, about the realities that people have to deal with in the fringes of society and feel I have met someone truly special. Ruth is such a bright person and hasn’t stopped to amaze and surprise me in different ways during our time together. I am lucky to have found such a great friend in her.
And a final word from Ruth on Marta ‘She’s a lovely girl, I really look forward to her visits on Thursdays and I think, oh good, Marta is coming today’.
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