20 Mar Angelique & Peter’s story – Torbay Community Helpline
Volunteer shopper Peter Long makes sure his neighbour’s cupboards remain stocked and she always has food on the table.
Angelique Redwood of Ellacombe in Torquay realised a couple of years ago that her increasingly poor mobility made her trips to the shops even more difficult, and she turned to the Helpline for support.
“My mobility is terrible,” said the 86-year-old whose only family, a son, lives in Nottingham, “but I want to stay in my home and having my shopping done for me allows me to do that,” she added.
Each week the retired secretary provides Pete with a list and trusts him to make substitutes if necessary and he takes an extra basket when doing his own shopping in Sainsbury’s.
“I am so lucky to have Pete, who, along with my carers, cannot do enough for me. It makes my life that much easier,” said Netherlands-born Angelique, who has lived in the Bay for more than 30 years.
Pete is not the only volunteer on standby to help out, “I am fortunate in having others who will step in when I am stuck, but Pete is normally there for me.”
Volunteering was an important step for Pete, who had been lost in a fog of grief after the death of his wife of 35 years, Anne: “It has given me a sense of purpose; volunteering was the kick in the pants that I needed, “ said the 63-year-old former lorry driver who also served in the military.
“People don’t always realise that volunteering, whatever it is, is all about doing something for others whilst doing something for yourself.”
Pete is not the only one in his family who is volunteering in the Bay; one of his two sons, Ben, is also shopping for someone and one of his two daughters, Bethany, has cooked and helped out at the Punk Pantry.
And shopping is not the only form of volunteering that Pete has been involved in; before a heart attack, he was also a regular helper at the Riviera Vaccination Centre.
“I would recommend volunteering to anyone and everyone,” he said before adding, “there is no better way of giving something back whilst at the same time getting something out.”