WEDNESDAY: Paul and Simren’s story

It’s national Volunteers’ Week and we’re celebrating by saying thank you to all the amazing volunteers in Islington. Each day we will be sharing the inspirational story of a volunteer.   

We’ll be looking at the incredible work that volunteers have been doing over the last 12 months and more recently in response to the Covid-19 crisis. 

Join us by sharing your inspirational stories of people volunteering in Islington #VolunteersWeek #weareIslington. 

Thank you to everyone who volunteers in Islington!

Today’s story features Paul and Simren.

Paul started volunteering for Islington charity Help on Your Doorstep when the coronavirus pandemic began. He has shopped for people who can’t leave their home and worked as a telephone befriender, speaking to people on a regular basis who may be struggling at home and feeling isolated and alone. He enjoys hearing people’s stories and learning more about those in his local community.

Paul says: ‘I often have the sense at the end of a call that the person perhaps feels a little happier than at the beginning of the call, perhaps simply as a result of speaking to someone else.’

Paul was inspired to volunteer now as he had previously volunteered supporting people with learning difficulties and remembered how fulfilling and worthwhile he had found that work. Paul would like to carry on volunteering after the current crisis is over.

Simren also started volunteering for Islington charity Help on Your Doorstep when the coronavirus pandemic began. She’s lived in Islington for just two and a half years and has volunteered before, she got involved with Help on Your Doorstep as she wanted to support her local community during lockdown.

Simren has been supporting an elderly gentleman in her local area. So far, she has managed to get him connected to the internet, collected prescriptions for him from the hospital and speaks to him at least twice a week to check he is OK and keep him company.

She says: ‘He’s the most delightful individual and we’ve become good friends.’ He is looking forward to cooking some Greek food for her when the pandemic is over and Simren says they will remain friends after the lockdown has ended.

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