Lawyers praised for lockdown volunteer scheme ‘lifeline’

Val Prosser

Senior Associate

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August 17, 2020

A community volunteer group set up by two lawyers from law firm Furley Page has been praised for offering a ‘lifeline’ to vulnerable people in Kent during the lockdown.

At the start of the lockdown volunteers from Furley Page set up Call Companions, a telephone buddy system which offers companionship and support to elderly members of the community who need to self-isolate due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Seeing an opportunity to offer additional support, the group also started a shopping and prescription collection service. Since March, volunteers from the group have carried out more than 350 shopping trips to provide vulnerable elderly people in the community with food, medicine and companionship.

The collections service came to an end on 31st July, as restrictions across Kent continue to ease, although the Call Companions hotline will continue for the foreseeable future.

The group was established by lawyers Val Prosser and Melanie Christodoulou, who are the regional co-ordinators for Re-engage, a charity that tackles the problem of social isolation by offering older peope regular face-to-face contact.

Val Prosser said: “We had around a dozen volunteers consisting of Furley Page staff members and volunteers from our Re-engage group, and we have all found it incredibly rewarding to offer our support to help those in need in our community.

“We have been delighted by the success of the group, and we have received so many letters and calls from isolated people thanking us for our support during lockdown, which in many cases has proved to be a lifeline.”

Melanie Christodoulou added: “Through our role with Re-Engage, we know how important regular contact and companionship can be for people who would otherwise have little social interaction. Although our shopping and prescription collection services have now come to an end, we are still running our Call Companions telephone system, and I hope that anyone who is feeling isolated or lonely will consider contacting the charity Re-engage.”

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer of Re-engage for the Whitstable, Herne Bay or Canterbury groups please contact Val Prosser or Melanie Christodoulou at Furley Page on 01227 763939.