nikki and patriciaVolunteer Nikki retired in 2016 after a long career in social services. As a member of her local church, Nikki had been involved in community support but she was also considering wider volunteering activity. 

When the Coronavirus pandemic took hold and lockdown was announced, Nikki got in touch with Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale – and we’re so glad she did. Nikki explains: ‘I really felt that I wanted to be useful. Doing something to help outside my family was really important to me. I wanted to use my time to help those in the local community who needed it most under such difficult circumstances.

‘Helping a number of different clients was an interesting challenge to start with as I had to juggle everyone’s very varied shopping requests. It was quite amusing watching all of the shopping lists develop over the weeks of lockdown and my clients and I often had a chuckle about that.

‘Volunteering with Age Connects has been really rewarding - I’ve really loved getting to know new people and have developed really close relationships with my clients. 

‘As lockdown has eased, I’m able to spend more time with my grandchildren but do intend to continue volunteering – it’s important to me personally but also for the local community.’

Nikki’s clients took the time to write to Age Connects to highlight just what a vital difference she made to them during lockdown …

  • From: Patricia 

To whom it may concern,

I am writing about Nikki, my wonderful shopper. 

Nikki absolutely saved my life. Nothing has been too much trouble for her. She has managed to find even the most complex bits and bobs I have required and I know she has accomplished this for all of us that she has taken care of. She is kind in her attitude and I would have been lost and very stressed without her.

Sincerely,

Patricia 

  • From: Gwyneth 

To whom it may concern,

I have found Nikki to be a really lovely individual. She is an excellent shopper and very hard working. We are so lucky to have her and we really appreciate her. She is a very trustworthy person and always pleasant. I find her to be caring and nothing is too much trouble for her. Bless her.

Yours faithfully,

Gwyneth 

  • From: Jacqueline 

To whom it may concern,

Nikki has been with us since the beginning of lockdown.

There are three of us under Nikki’s care, helping us with shopping and any other things that come up. We can’t imagine the mess we would find ourselves in without her. There are very few individuals these days that have a natural gift of giving and helping less fortunate people who find themselves in a vulnerable position. We are very fortunate to have found Nikki. Nothing we ask her is too much trouble. She has so much patience and understanding. She never gets fazed and takes everything in her stride. We always ask her last minute for items we have forgotten. Nikki’s attitude is ‘no problem’.

Nikki is also generous with her time and is honest and happy to help. Nikki goes above and beyond her calling. We often have a shopping list that is complex and unorthodox, often having a giggle at various items. Nikki always finds the goods that are difficult, not leaving us with substitutes.

Thank you is not enough to say to Nikki for the help she has given us. Nikki has been an angel to three cantankerous devils.

When lockdown is over, we will miss Nikki and her friendship. But whatever she does, she will brighten up her future associates. They are very lucky.

Thank you,

Jaqueline