“Tanya just knows exactly what I need” says Lyndsey, who has been supported by Nantwich Buddy Tanya since early 2021.
Life dealt a rough hand to Lyndsey when she was in her forties leading a full and independent life. Struck down with a rare hormone disorder which has greatly affected her mobility, she was no longer able to work and has spent the last ten years contending with the vast array of conditions arising from her disorder.
The list is too great to detail here but includes problems with her bones, heart, lungs, skin, hair loss and loss of most of her teeth. Unsurprisingly this led to problems with chronic anxiety and depression due to the significant change in her lifestyle and appearance. As if that wasn’t enough, Lyndsey has lost eight close members of her family and friends in as many years, including her father and sister (aged only forty eight).
Classed as ‘Vulnerable’ and told to isolate for most of the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, Lyndsey sought help with her shopping and was put in touch with the volunteer group Nantwich Buddies by the Cheshire East Communities Team. Several volunteers shopped regularly for her, leaving the bags on her doorstep with minimal interaction, as was the case with many of those being supported at that time.
When those volunteers returned to work, Tanya offered to support Lyndsey and so their wonderful friendship began. Not just limited to shopping, over the last twelve months Tanya has supported Lyndsey in helping her to find more suitable accommodation, helping to settle her into her new home, encouraging her to get out into society on her mobility scooter and of course made the friendly phone calls and visits that have provided much-needed company for Lyndsey during lonely times.
They both agree that the improvement in Lyndsey’s mental health and confidence since they first met is remarkable. “It’s a miracle” says Lyndsey. “I’m ready to face the world again and now I want to help people too. Tanya understands what people need, she does it from the heart and makes me laugh – that’s quite an achievement”!
But it’s not all one way. Volunteering has many proven benefits and Tanya believes that Lyndsey helps her in many ways too. “I think we’re on a level footing with each other. Lyndsey has supported me in difficult times and I really do enjoy our time together. Being able to help and seeing the change in her is so rewarding and has been a joy to watch”.
If you’d like to join Nantwich Buddies and make a difference within our community, please contact us on 01270 440740 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.