Amy describes her experiences as a Community Visitor in Colchester and Kelvedon.
I grew up knowing about care for older people as my Mum has worked in the care sector for most of my life. From an early age I remember visiting the homes where Mum worked and always really enjoyed hearing people’s life stories. Also, I have some knowledge of dementia as, sadly, my Nan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when I was 14 years old. I saw how this affects the whole family and how difficult it is when a person you love goes into residential care.
Inspired to help others I completed my GNVQ in Health and Social Care while I was at school and then worked in a local day centre for the elderly. After getting married I moved away from Essex for a while but when I returned I decided to become a volunteer co-ordinator at the day centre where I’d previously worked. I then heard about the My Home Life Essex Community Association and the exciting new pilot community scheme in Colchester and it sounded very interesting. I took the plunge and applied to become a Community Visitor and was delighted to be accepted.
Now I spend about half a day a week visiting a home in Kelvedon as a volunteer, chatting with the residents, their families and carers. I always get a warm welcome and enjoy hearing about what’s been going on. I’m treated like a friend and find my role so fulfilling as we share a common goal – to help the residents to live the best life possible.
It’s also great that I work with a fellow Community Visitor at the home so we can share notes and support each other. I was fully trained for my role by the My Home Life Community Association and there’s ongoing support for both me and my buddy. I couldn’t ask for more and I really look forward to going to the home every week.