How the LOOPs phoneline project connects people, projects and offers an improved quality of life.
An Edinburgh Timebank had a phone call from a project called LOOPS. They wanted someone to accompany someone to look at sheltered housing options. They said the woman, Mary, needed some support as she could be a bit unsteady on her legs. Timebank put Barbara in touch with Mary.
Here’s is Barbara’s story of her time working with Mary:
“When I first went to meet Mary I was quite nervous actually, ‘cos I didn’t know what to expect. We had a good chat and she told me a bit about herself and her background. And she said she wasn’t looking forward to looking at this flat, and felt quite intimidated by the housing officer and things like that.
So we went to see the flat and came back. I just made a few suggestions about contacting Age Scotland and so on, getting another viewpoint just to make sure she was happy instead of just taking the first one that comes along. She does need a ground floor property, but it’s difficult for her to leave as she has lived where she is for a very long time. From that she then phoned me at least once a month to do something with her. I’ve been to the hospital with her once and am going again, and out shopping with her one Friday afternoon, which helps her get out of the house. She can’t really do this herself as she’s not mobile unless she has someone there and she doesn’t have the self confidence.
Her physical state has improved since I’ve known her. Some of that is because it’s not winter but partly cos she’s taking more care of herself and being a bit more positive. I’d say that just the fact she’s got someone in the background that will support her when she really needs it.
I like that relationship. It’s a relationship with an older person and I’ve always got on with older people. You’re learning things you maybe didn’t know before. It’s just like a buddy, a buddy relationship. We have quite good conversations. Like you were going out to meet someone in a cafe for a coffee. She knows she has someone to rely on who’s not going to fuss her in anyway. She can open up and let all her gripes out. It’s not a professional relationship. That’s important.
It’s very simple. But there’s not a professional agency in the background. It’s one to one.”