Lilia enjoys her volunteering opportunity and has had personal experience of being a carer so understands and empathises with the carers that she befriends.
Tell us about your volunteering
My role is to make befriending phone calls to other carers who may feel isolated or alone as a result of the caring position they find themselves.
Every week I call two different carers. Both are women and both have completely differing experiences of the caring role. Both carers that I am in contact with face isolation in their carers role. Both have had to witness the physical and mental decline of someone very close to them.
Both are happy to chat about this experience - its frustrations and its lighter moments. Generally, they are happy just to chat. The phone calls take place at same time each week and generally last from 30mins -50mins.
Why do you volunteer?
Having been a carer myself I felt that I would like to perhaps offer other people in a similar position a little light relief in the shape of a phone call.
Lockdown meant that face to face meetings were out of the question although that would have my preferred option. I struggled at first with the idea of making phone calls to people I had never met and knew little about. I need not have worried. The calls were appreciated and as we established common interests over weeks and months it became so much easier.
I look forward to the calls as I hope the carers also do.
What do you gain from volunteering?
The fulfilment of a desire to help.
Being the listening ear for someone who might feel they are struggling.
Sharing experiences of caring. Both good and not so good.
The hope that I might have brightened someone's day a little.
What would you say to someone considering volunteering?
I would say to put any misgivings you might have aside and do it.
Even if you feel unsure, nervous, inadequate or other negative feelings. Do it!
You will have a unique opportunity to make a small difference to another person.
Find out more about Inverclyde Carers Centre - visit their website.