I have been a volunteer for the British Red Cross since I was 16. I’ve covered areas such as first aid, emergency response, and crisis education and now I’ve taken on a new role as a Community Connector.
In January 2016 I was a passenger in a friend’s car when we were hit by a drunk driver, the accident left me unable to walk due to damage to my spinal cord and the nerves in my leg. Following my accident, the British Red Cross helped ensure I had all the mobility aids I needed when I returned home.
Upon returning home I felt alone and socially isolated. I didn’t want to leave the house because I felt like I wasn’t able to do anything for myself due to being in a wheelchair. However the British Red Cross offered all the support I needed, from help getting to appointments to emotional support, they did so much for me in my recovery.
For me the British Red Cross was the one thing that helped me to stand on my own two feet. The fact that I can provide that for someone else is a great feeling.
When I saw the Community Connector role I knew straight away that I had to apply. It was something that I’ve experienced first-hand, the loneliness and social isolation after my accident. Everyone associates loneliness with the elderly and I never knew it affected younger people until it affected me. I want to help people who may have gone through similar experiences to me. The Red Cross did that for me and now I get to do that for other people
I am really pleased to have started my new role in Thanet, where we aim to re-connect up to 200 local people who are experiencing loneliness and social isolation back to their community.
Services across the UK are looking for volunteers to give a few hours a week to help people who are experiencing loneliness in their local area. This could mean chatting over a cup of tea, helping a person get online or helping them get back into the community by supporting them to start attending a local activity.
British Red Cross Community Connector