Lesley’s father Michael is 80 years old and lives alone in Cadoxton, Barry. Michael is not in great health having had a stroke some years ago. However, he is quite independent and likes to get his own shopping, previously relying on taxis to take him places as he’s a bit unsteady on his feet. As soon as taxis stopped running due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it was impossible for Michael to go out and shop for groceries. Michael doesn’t have any internet access and setting up a supermarket delivery was out of the question. Without any family living nearby to help out, once the lockdown came, Michael was totally alone.
Michael’s daughter Lesley explains: ‘Dad is quite happy with his own company but not being able to get out once or twice a week to pick up groceries was a huge concern. I live in Manchester, some 200 miles away and therefore felt pretty helpless’. Early on in the lockdown, when she says she was feeling ‘a bit panicky’, Lesley was given contact details for Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale as an organisation which might be able to do shopping for her father. Lesley explains: ‘I sent an email and was contacted the next day and I was so relieved when they told me that they could provide shopping for my dad. It was a huge relief to me, I can’t tell you how much this has meant’.
Each Thursday, Lesley texts Michael’s shopping list to Nicola at Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale. Nicola contacts one of the many volunteers helping with shopping deliveries and the next day Michael receives his shopping. Daughter Lesley continues: ‘I get a call a couple of days later from Karen and pay on my debit card over the phone. This makes it much easier for me as my dad is very much a “cash” man and obviously he has no way of getting any cash at the moment. It has worked out brilliantly.
‘I’m really not sure where we would be without Age Connects. I know I can rely on them to deliver dad’s shopping and that in itself is a huge weight off my mind. It’s really been an invaluable service and has made such a difference to both my father and me. Thank you so, so much’.