Susan – Dial-OP Volunteer
Susan has been volunteering with Dial-OP since February 2015. Initially signing up as a helpline operator Susan quickly expanded her role to include, telephone befriending, administrative work and outreach events. With a history of volunteering in the city Susan brought with her a wealth of experience and enthusiasm. Susan enjoys the interaction with service users both via the telephone and face to face at outreach events, finding satisfaction in helping others. Susan finds her role as a volunteer with Dial-OP very rewarding, she feels it has increased her confidence and enabled her to make use of her skills in a positive way while having a positive impact on people’s lives.
Susan feels that volunteering with Dial-OP allows her to feel appreciated for doing something worthwhile in her retirement.
Susan’s warmth and kindness have been enjoyed by both of her ‘ladies’ during her befriending calls but none more so than Kay. Kay was a very self-reliant and independent individual but due to being housebound with no family or friends, found herself very much alone and isolated. With not many visitors Susan’s telephone call became a very important part of her week, often the only contact other than that of her Asda delivery driver. Both Susan and Kay looked forward to their chats and developed a very special relationship. One Friday unfortunately Kay didn’t answer the telephone and Susan immediately knew something was wrong, hoping for the best, non-emergency services were contacted. To our great sorrow, after investigation, the police were able to gain entry to Kay’s home and found she had passed away in her sleep. Kay’s lack of friends and family and the benefit of Susan’s calls were unfortunately highlighted in this case as no-one else had checked upon her.
Feedback received from Kay in the weeks before her death told of how she felt Susan was a good listener and communicator, and how her feelings of loneliness and isolation decreased leaving her feeling more connected to her community through her chats with Susan.