“I can’t tell you what Compassionate Neighbours has meant to us. Knowing dad is happy and content for that morning he is out with John every week and he’s being helped to do something he loves, is very comforting to us.”
Italian-born Lorenzo met John when they were matched through North London Hospice’s Compassionate Neighbours project, a community scheme that enables volunteers to help people nearing the end of their life, through age or illness, avoid loneliness or isolation.
Former restaurateur Lorenzo, 76, has dementia but is still physically fit and loves to get out in the fresh air for walks. His daughter and son are a huge support and spend every weekend with their dad but the long distance means he spends much of the week at home with little social interaction.
But since meeting John, things have changed. Daughter Sophie explains: “John is so caring and kind. He visits every Tuesday morning and takes dad out for a few hours for long walks in local parks around North London. Knowing dad is happy and content for that morning and being helped to do something he loves is very comforting to us.
“Dad feels he’s developed a new friendship and although he doesn’t always remember the activity, the feeling of happiness stays with him for days sometimes. He will phone me as soon as John leaves and tell me about his morning. I can’t tell you what a difference Compassionate Neighbours has made to our lives. We’re so thankful it’s been available to us.”
The family were supported by North London Hospice when Lorenzo’s wife of 50 years received care from our team at the end of her life. He joined our Walk & Talk group for bereaved relatives and attended group activities locally but as his illness progressed these became too much for him and he became lonely. That’s when he was introduced to Compassionate Neighbours.
His Compassionate Neighbours volunteer John adds: “It’s a pleasure to take Lorenzo out. He really loves company and when we’re out we’ll often stop and chat with other people we meet. It’s extremely fulfilling to help someone in my local area and make sure they don’t become isolated. It’s good for him to get out but it’s good for me too.”
If you think you could become a Compassionate Neighbour join our free training course on 30 June, 1, 5 & 6 July 11am-1pm. Email email@example.com to find out more or click here
North London Hospice is licensed and regulated in Great Britain by the Gambling Commission under account number 20198