Daphne has been receiving befriending calls through Racing Welfare’s Check-in and Chat service for several years since her husband, a former racing industry employee, sadly passed away. She’s received regular phonecalls from a couple of different volunteers during that time, and is currently paired with Louise, a volunteer from Newmarket.
Every three weeks, Daphne receives a call from Louise. She finds herself looking forward to those Wednesday afternoons and says: “I just clicked with Louise, we talk about anything and everything – not just racing but my gardening or bowling. She always remembers what I’ve got going on and asks me questions, it’s just so easy to talk to her.”
Daphne admits that when Racing Welfare had initially suggested the service she hadn’t been completely sure whether to sign up. She recalls: “You don’t know at first, because you’re a bit lost, when you’ve had a partner for 47 years and then all of a sudden they’re not there. It gets a bit lonely sometimes, especially [during the winter].”
Recognising those feelings of loneliness, Daphne decided to give the service a go and still notices the benefits several years on.
She said: “When you’re a bit low it’s nice to know there’s someone friendly on the end of the phone.
“It’s been nearly nine years, but you still have your ups and downs. You can feel on top of the world one day and feel lousy another day. It all depends, if you’re not feeling well or feeling a bit down, or things haven’t been going right – [Louise] just cheers me up! We do laugh, she’s a lovely lady. All the volunteers [that have called me over the years] have been lovely.”
Louise has been volunteering with Racing Welfare for two years and finds being a Check-In and Chat caller to be a rewarding experience. She said: “I feel very comfortable about making the calls and feel that I am putting something back, having taken a lot out of racing over my life. I like the thought of volunteering. It makes you feel better about yourself if you’re giving something back.
“I look forward to talking to [my befriendees], it’s always pretty easy really and you feel you get to know them as a friend.”
To find out more about Racing Welfare’s Check-In and Chat service click here [https://racingwelfare.co.uk/info-support/about-racings-check-in-and-chat-service/].