Staff at Hanley’s Intu Potteries Shopping Centre have joined forces with Revival to befriend isolated older people in Staffordshire.
Three members of Intu’s team are currently matched to Revival customers, who they visit once a week for a chat and some companionship. The aim is to provide social and emotional support to older people in their own home or place of choice.
Nora Dobson, 96, is a Revival customer. Her volunteer, James, duty manager at Intu, visits once or twice a week straight from work. Nora said: “James is a wonderful and charming young man and I just love his visits.
“I feel very lucky that James takes the time to visit me and I look forward to our chats, he knows all about my life and listens to all of my stories. We chat about all sorts of things and a bit of gossip”
Revival are also working with Intu to develop a bedside befriending scheme at Haywood Hospital in Burslem, to help improve the mental, physical health and wellbeing of older patients who do not have regular visits from family or friends while in hospital.
Julie Russell, support and wellbeing manager at Revival said: “We are delighted and excited to be working with Intu, our volunteers and hospital partners to help patients feel better by having someone to talk to during their hospital stay.
“Those patients with few visitors will really benefit from Intu staff volunteers’ conversations and it will have an all-around benefit for patients, volunteers and the hospitals.”
A spokesperson for Intu said, “Intu is very much a people business guided by its culture and values.
“Our Employee Volunteering Scheme builds on its support for colleagues’ charity and community commitments by offering all intu employees a formal opportunity to volunteer up to 15 hours per year during intu working time.”