Help with shopping for isolated Welsh couple
When the coronavirus lockdown was introduced Wendy Hollis admits she was anxious she would be infected during one of her trips to the supermarket to buy essentials.
Wendy, 71, a retired disability employment advisor, wasn’t particularly concerned for herself, but she worried she might infect her 75-year-old husband Bill, a retired policeman who is diabetic and has high blood pressure. She said, “I was anxious to protect my husband and I was becoming paranoid about bringing the virus home.”
Her predicament was exacerbated by the long trips required to buy essentials and collect prescriptions. The couple live on the outskirts of Llandrillo, a village in Denbighshire in north-east Wales, where the nearest supermarket is a 35-minute drive and the closest pharmacy is more than 5 miles away.
Help arrived in the form of a card pushed through the letterbox from The South Denbighshire Community Partnership, a National Lottery-funded charity based in the town of Corwen. Wendy said, “It just said ‘if you feel you need help with shopping or prescriptions give us a ring.”
Wendy wasn’t sure she was eligible for help at first. She said, “I told them I felt like a bit of a fraud because I’m a healthy 71-year-old. But they said, ‘that’s exactly what we’re here for’. The Partnership offered to do our essential shopping and collect our prescriptions. It was an absolute boon.”
Thanks to National Lottery players, Wendy and Bill now receive a weekly delivery of essential shopping items from volunteers who also collect their monthly prescriptions and check on them with regular phone calls. The service has allowed them to shield themselves effectively whilst maintaining some human contact.
Wendy said, “It’s actually made us feel more part of the community than before. There are so many young adults volunteering [for the Partnership] and a little chat on the doorstep 6 feet away just makes you feel less isolated.
“The volunteers are professional, but warm. It’s inspiring that people are willing to put themselves out that much for other people. And always with a smile. They’re just lovely people.”
Wendy is not sure how she and Bill would have coped during the lockdown without the help of The South Denbighshire Community Partnership and its team of volunteers.
She’s also grateful to National Lottery players. She said, “You hear that the Lottery gives money to causes around the country, but I’d never really seen it in action before. It’s a really good thing.”
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16th June 2020
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