"I think it’s absolutely vital for people who have learning disabilities, who are home by themselves, to get some support"
We talk about how my life is going – what I’ve done during the day and what I’m concerned about.
We are Sally and Kate and we have been partnered together as Telephone Buddies during this period of the lockdown.
After 4 weeks of talking on the phone almost every day we had the idea of writing this article together to share with others our experience so far of getting to know each other and doing something different during this strange time !
We have decided on some questions for Kate (who works in the Training Department) to ask Sally (who lives in a Southdown Learning Disability Support Service).
So, here goes …
Kate: Why did you want a telephone buddy?
Sally: Because my life has changed so much, I’ve hardly seen anybody and my life has changed completely in the last few months, not just with the lockdown and not being able to go to work, but also with my family’s issues.
I think it’s absolutely vital for people who have learning disabilities, who are home by themselves, to get some support.
It’s helped my anxiety stay down and I’ve not been seriously anxious or upset or anything. I think the support is vital for people like me.
Kate: What is the experience like ?
Sally: It has been wonderful for me !
It’s been an eye-opening great experience and I’m far happier, far calmer and far better for it. I think it’s wonderful that someone with spare time will do that and I’m really grateful. It’s essential for people who have learning disabilities and anxiety to have some kind of service like this, it’s really healthy and keeps your mind in check.
I want to say I’d recommend it to anybody who’s in the same situation as me, especially if they have mental health problems they will be struggling and this can help them evaluate their feelings and know there’s someone there they can speak to in this crazy time. I think it’s vital.
Kate: You said you wanted to tell people about what we talk about …
Sally: Yes, I do.
We talk about how my life is going – what I’ve done during the day and what I’m concerned about. We talk about what things have made my day good, what activities I’ve done and the weather.
We talk about your life too Kate. It’s really good to talk about what you’ve done day to day, what films you’ve watched and where you’ve been.
I also want to mention how amazing all my Support Workers are, their work is so vital and I’m so grateful for the wonderful support I receive.
And on a final note …
Me and Kate will meet up after the lockdown has eased and have a coffee and I hope to meet up again in the future!
Our Telephone Buddies are part of our Southdown Reservist Team. Southdown Reservists are employees from Southdown's Community Support Services and Central Services who have volunteered to step forward and offer help to their Learning Disability Support colleagues. During the pandemic, our Learning Disability Support services are being shielded with clients no longer undertaking community visits and services not receiving any non-essential visitors.