Havering charity’s 25 years of lending a helping hand at an end

PUBLISHED: 13:08 09 June 2015 | UPDATED: 13:08 09 June 2015

Carol Pyman, age74 from the voluntary care network visits Jean Fearon, age86  for a cup of tea and a chat to provide company.

Carol Pyman, age74 from the voluntary care network visits Jean Fearon, age86 for a cup of tea and a chat to provide company.


A charity that provided companionship and support to elderly people for a quarter of a century has closed.

Voluntary Care Romford was formed by churches and synagogues in 1990.

In the last 25 years its volunteers have driven elderly people to hospital appointments and social occasions, helped with everyday tasks such as shopping, as well as just dropping in for a cup of tea to ward off loneliness.

Chairman, Olive Buckley, said the decision to close was taken because of a reduction in need and difficulties recruiting new drivers.

She said: “It’s sad and yet we can look back on 25 years when we did an awful lot of good work.”

Last year the Recorder featured the work of the charity and received glowing reviews of the service it provided.

Jean Fearon, 86, of Romford, was visited by a volunteer each week for a cup of tea and a chat in what she described as the “highlight” of her week.

Meanwhile Shirley Maynard, 78, and Jessica Pugh, 92, both of Romford, spoke of the kindness of volunteers who they said went the extra mile to help m.

Mrs Maynard said: “They’re very nice. A volunteer took me for a blood test and came with a big umbrella to make sure I did not get wet.”

Mrs Buckley recalled times the volunteers provided lifts to and from hospital for a cancer patient every day for four weeks, or walked dogs to help those unable to do so.

But, she said the need was not as great as it once was with frequent bus services, taxi cards and better access to blue badges improving mobility for the elderly.

The charity’s remaining funds will be donated to others doing similar work in the forthcoming months.

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