Simone’s Nana was poorly with cancer when she went along with her to one of her hospital appointments. While she was there she over-heard someone say, “I had to pay one of my neighbours to come with me to this appointment”. Simone couldn’t believe it and she knew then that she wanted to volunteer. She already had a busy life as a full-time teaching assistant and single mum of two girls, 5 and 7. She says,
“By volunteering, I’m teaching my children that we have to look out for other people – the world is bigger than just us”
So when she saw an advert for Ami on Facebook, she knew it was just what she was looking for. She clicked on the link and spent five minutes registering. The next day, the Voluntary Organisation got in touch. After she’d been interviewed and DBS checked, they introduced her to Peter.
“The first time I met Peter, he stood up, shook my hand and gave me a hug and it just felt like I should be there. I don’t feel like I’m volunteering when I do it. I get just as much out of it as Peter does, I love it”
Peter has dementia and is unsteady on his feet so he is often indoors. He is always very happy to see Simone. They watch some of his favourite programmes together. Often they talk about travelling as Peter used to be in the navy! Simone gives Peter an opportunity to show off his great sense of humour. Her visit breaks up his day.
“It just feels like going to a relative’s house, like how I felt when I used to go over to my Nana’s house. It’s very comfortable and it feels nice to have made a new friend”
Simone lives in Oxfordshire where Oxford Computer Consultants have been developing Ami in partnership with local voluntary organisations. If you live in Oxfordshire too, you can easily find someone nearby to visit by entering your postcode into the Ami site.
“The registration process is really easy, you don’t have to have a huge amount of free time. Some people just want someone to go and visit them for a cup of tea, so even if you only have half an hour a week, you can help”
Visit www.withami.co.uk to find someone near you.