Charlotte is a lovely person. A second-year nursing student at The University of Brighton, she is building a career centered on helping others. When the pandemic hit and her class was not yet allowed on the hospital wards, she sought other ways to be of service.
After the passing away of her father last autumn, an Age U.K. volunteer began calling her mum weekly. As the two women still remain close and call regularly, Charlotte decided to pay forward the same kindness to others struggling in isolation. Becoming a volunteer with Age U.K., she used the new Volunteero app and began befriending.
“It’s something that fits in with normal life very easily, and therefore it is a really good way for, quite literally, anybody to give a bit of time,” Charlotte notes.
Though she mostly chats with her contacts about the details of their day, shopping, gardening, and the like, in between, Charlotte makes sure that they have what they need in terms of groceries, medications, and doctors’ appointments.
Charlotte speaks warmly of her contact:
“She’s been a breath of fresh air. Because even though she is going through such hard times, she’s just such a joy to speak to. Putting the phone down is so hard because she’s just lovely.”
Getting to know Charlotte has a way of solidifying one’s faith in humanity. Her warmth and accessibility are apparent in her ready smile and receptive verbal style. She was raised on the Isle of Wight, and as it is a common misconception about people from the Isle, she assures any who might wonder that she does not have webbed feet. But, she is a self-proclaimed “foodie,” having had a father as a chef. If she could magically make one food zero calories, though, she admits it would have to be pizza. When not volunteering or training as a nurse, she would gladly spend her day knitting or crocheting. Settling in with cake, several cups of tea, and her Audible books (like Where the Crawdads Sing) would sum up her idea of a good day.
Charlotte highly recommends volunteering to those still considering. Phone outreach programs are particularly valuable at this time, enabling connection while still protecting all involved from viral exposure.
“It’s actually really good for your own mental health to take time and just have a conversation with somebody. I think that anybody doing it would get something out of it. Just knowing they’ve actually actively helped: it’s worth it.”