By Marianne Parker, Community Builder for Wellswood
In Wellswood, I feel that we are extremely lucky to have almost 240 amazing people who are volunteering on the Torbay Community Helpline to help their neighbours with shopping, prescription collection, telephone befriending, dog walking and much more during this pandemic!
As if volunteering your energy and giving up your own time wasn’t enough, some volunteers have been shopping and collecting prescriptions for people every week since March 2020. Others have been taking rubbish to the bins, doing laundry, helping with lifts to the vaccination centre and marshalling there.
One such amazing volunteer is the wonderful Wendy Lilley. As well as providing childcare for her key worker daughter, baking for homeless people and delivering food to foodbanks, Wendy bakes for her neighbours, and organised a street party celebration for VE Day. She volunteers at the Hedgehog Sanctuary at Seale Hayne, helping to look after 200 hedgehogs, and volunteers at the Rowcroft Hospice coffee van on the harbourside. Since the first lockdown last March, Wendy has delivered prescriptions and has been a telephone befriender.
One of the lovely people who Wendy does shopping for, has struck gold. Wendy bakes her a cake and takes flowers or her favourite chocolates every other week. She has also taken her out to the seafront at Teignmouth, when it was permitted, where they watch the cruise ships, laugh, tell stories and have fish and chips. They have a lively email exchange, often sharing a joke between them.
Her lovely lady hadn’t had a home-cooked meal in eight years when Wendy met her, so Wendy treated her to a roast pork dinner and at Christmas, delivered Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, complete with serving dishes and a glass of red wine. On New Year’s Day, it was beef Wellington. In addition, Wendy is now volunteering at the RICC supporting the huge vaccination effort for Torbay.
…and the Oscar goes to… the wonderful Wendy Lilley – volunteer extraordinaire!
If you would like to volunteer or be a ‘good neighbour’, please call our helpline on 01803 446022.