published on 26 Nov 2020
Jo lives on her own with her guide dog Opal. During the pandemic she’s needed to self-isolate meaning she hasn’t been able to get out and about.
Apart from some peripheral vision the 89-year-old is blind and relies upon Opal to assist her in shopping and doing jobs around the house.
Even though Jo hasn’t been able to get out The Salvation Army in Droitwich has been coming to her in the form of Carolyn, a community support worker, who visits or calls her each week, often also bringing her daughters along for a door step chat and to take Opal for a walk. The catch-ups are a welcome top up to the regular visits from Jo’s own daughter.
Jo said: “It’s a God-send, it’s a joy to talk to them when they come to the door, they are so nice.
“I feel I need to speak to people, otherwise, I could get into the habit of not speaking to people. My daughter is extremely busy and works full-time as a gardener, and she looks after her brother, my son, and me. I don’t want to put any more burdens on her. I have to do what I can, I cook and clean for myself. However, having someone to talk to regularly is really valuable to me.
“I live in an area where my neighbours are retired and although not as old as me, I can hear and sometimes see them, parking their cars, getting out and going into their own homes. Nobody has ever come to say hello or ask how I am. I sometimes feel invisible. I rely on people like Carolyn and her daughters, as well as my own daughter, of course.
But Carolyn isn’t just visiting Jo, she has 70 people on her weekly list and does her best to get around to see or call them all.
No matter how tough the challenges are that people face the Salvation Army is always there to offer a helping hand.
“When I put money in The Salvation Army collecting tin last Christmas, I never thought I would need their help.”
Lieutenant Daniel Holland balances managing homelessness services with nursing.
Carolyn is the community support officer in Droitwich, during the pandemic she has been serving her local community of isolated older people.