Lisa and Jimmy chat weekly despite not being able to meet in person
While Ecas has had to make the difficult decision to suspend our in-person activities because of the risk from coronavirus, we are still supporting befriending matches who wish to continue their visits through phone or video calls. Lisa and Jimmy are one of those matches, and they find that maintaining their connection in new ways is helping combat the added isolation caused by the current lockdown.
“Phoning Jimmy is currently my only fixed routine,” says befriender Lisa, who has a physical disability herself and has attended Ecas’ Art and Tai Chi groups. “Once we got chatting again, we had periods of good laughter amongst the uncertainty.”
They swap YouTube recommendations, jokes and funny memes. “It gives us something to laugh about on our weekly phone calls, and a distraction from the news,” she adds.
Lisa has been maintaining her art and Tai Chi practices on her own while she waits to be able to return to the activity groups, so she even drew pictures of her family’s dog – also named Jimmy – to share with her befriendee (he’s the cutie on the left in the photo above). “Jimmy meet Jimmy,” she laughed.
Her background as a support worker and administrator, along with her own experiences with a disability, led her to volunteer as an Ecas befriender. And she credits the Tai Chi group with helping her after a period of being housebound herself. “Attending has significantly improved my confidence and reduced my limitations,” she says. “It gives me so much enjoyment being around others, and it’s good for my physical health and my mind too.”
“I’m still doing Tai Chi daily, and I managed to get out and sit on the seafront wall practicing, so it was very calming.”
Ecas is accepting befriending volunteer enquiries now in anticipation of a greater need when social distancing is no longer required. You can see some of our current opportunities here, and please get in touch if you’d like to learn more.