Lonely widow checks in on isolated people

A Smallthorpe woman has spent seven years using her experience of loneliness to support other vulnerable people.

Kath Chadwick became a widow 14 years ago after her husband needed to be cared for in care home because of his Alzheimer’s.

She now makes calls for CareLink - a telephone befriending and monitoring service provided by the Saltbox charity - twice a week.

"I love it," she says. "They tell me about all their troubles and I tell them about mine."

Mrs Chadwick spoke openly about her feelings of isolation after her sons moved out and her husband passed away.

"It’s like a curtain comes down and you’re at odds with everybody and everything."

She has limited mobility after medical procedures on her toe, both knees and a recent hip operation making socialising even more difficult.

"I said to the doctor, ‘Do whatever you want but leave my tongue alone because I won’t be able to talk!"

Affectionately known as "Trouble" by the ChatLink staff, Mrs Chadwick voluntarily checks on the welfare of her clients from home.

Service co-ordinator for ChatLink, Nikki Simpson, said the calls clients receive can be the only human interaction they have that week.

"They keep in touch but it’s also a crisis prevention call."

Volunteers feed back to staff alerting them of any concerns, complaints or changes in behaviour.

Mrs Simpson encourages volunteers or people who would benefit from the service to contact CareLink.

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