“Croydon Vision is a community where everyone is valued and cared for.” – Chris R

Sue Lawrence recently celebrated an anniversary; she’s now been calling Croydon Vision members as part of our Befriending service for over a year. And she couldn’t be more positive about it.

Photo of Sue Lawrence smiling in a red cardigan.
She has black glasses and a lovely blonde bob!

It was thanks to my dear Mother that I first became involved with Croydon Vision. Mum suffered with Macular Degeneration for many years. Croydon Vision were very supportive to her, so much so that my Father was proud to leave the organisation a legacy when he passed away. I personally wrote the cheque!

When I retired, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by Grandchildren. Once they were all at school, I knew I wanted to volunteer and Croydon Vision was the natural choice. I was interviewed, DBS checked and I offered to help out with the dancing group. Although I could dance, I was taught The Cindy Viennese Swing and Barn Dance, all under the watchful eye of Bharat, Patrick and Christine. I was eventually able to lead after training. As far as I know there were no complaints. Bob who I twirled around in his wheelchair looked happy!

It was a very jolly and happy time, but sadly Lockdown descended, and we had to hang up our dancing shoes. I immediately signed up for the Befriending service, as I wanted to keep in touch with those who I knew and had formed a pleasant relationship with. Each week I would call 10 members. It was good to keep in contact and listen to everyone’s news. It was interesting hearing about their families and pets. Our conversations were cheery and informative. We would often discuss topics like when we were having our vaccinations and even try and put the world to rights!

I always looked forward to making my calls. I tried to keep to a pattern and telephoned usually on a Monday or Tuesday. There must be nothing worse than anxiously waiting for a telephone call. I remember on one occasion a member had a problem with their smoke alarm which was constantly bleeping. I was able to contact someone I knew who worked for the fire service and within hours the problem had been fixed.

Befriending is all about sharing a smile, listening and hopefully uplifting the person you are speaking to. Perhaps it is fitting that my grandchildren associate me with the song ‘Happy’ by Farrell Williams. This is one of my favourite songs, and whenever they hear it they say it is “grandma’s song” – so I guess you could say it is my anthem!”