“A lot of people think that older and blind people just need more money to improve their lives but often the only thing we need is compassion, mindfulness and a little care. We need clean and tidy streets to be able to get around without stepping into a puddle, walking into a bin or getting run over by a car. The greatest gift I have ever received from ALONE was when they introduced Stephen into my life. Steve has been coming to visit me for over 12 years now. I suppose I am quite lucky because most volunteers move on with their lives after a few years, which is understandable. People’s circumstances change. Steve has had a lot of changes in his life too since I’ve known him. He changed his career, made a family, moved house and now he is a father of three. He is a busy man! We both had our ups and downs. There were times when we couldn’t see each other for longer periods of time, but it was always comforting to know that whenever we did see each other again, we would pick up right from where we left off. It’s great to know that if I get a letter or need help with something I don’t understand, he’ll come over in a day or two and help me out. I would listen to the radio about things going on in the world and I couldn’t wait to have him here to discuss them. When he arrives, we have a general catch-up about what is going on and what are the things I need some help with. In the beginning, his visits were a lot more about trying to help me out with things like paying my bills, reading my letters for me, and helping me out with the computer, but now it’s a lot more about getting all those things out of the way and just having a chat about anything and everything. Steve is a true friend and I will be always grateful to have him in my life.”
Today is International Friendship Day. We are celebrating the thousands of friendships forged around the country by ALONE, including this wonderful friendship between Sean and Stephen.
Will you help ALONE to continue its life-changing work? Donate to ALONE by visiting www.alone.ie/donate
You can also support ALONE by volunteering your friendship. ALONE are currently looking for volunteers in areas nationwide.
You can find out more or sign up to volunteer with ALONE on www.alone.ie/volunteers