In mid-March, the girl whom I always dealt with at the Stroke Association phoned me to say she was being made redundant at the end of the month. I mean, I think thats very sad, but shit happens and we have to make the best of things in the face of it.
But since then….nothing. On the grounds that somebody would have told me if something was changing (wouldn’t they?), I’ve just carried on doing my ward visits, on my own, on alternate Wednesdays. The girl who left told me that they hadn’t decided who’d organise what yet, but that her area manager would likely take over liaison with volunteers. But no phone call or email from the new person to say hi. Nothing. So I went up there today and one of the nurses says, “I didn’t think you did this any more”. Well, I was only there a fortnight ago so I asked her what she meant. By the sounds of things, the other guy who visits – we went on alternate weeks so generally missed each other – has stopped doing visits. Reuben – the other guy – had a stroke several years ago, had been volunteering since a long time, and was obviously quite well known to people (although possibly more his purple garb, just like mine, than his face).
I feel a bit like I’m doing these hospital visits, but nobody at the Stroke Association has any clue that I’m doing them. One day, someone will approach me and say “what are you doing?” or “who the hell are you?” Or, possibly, “what are you doing wearing one of our shirts?”
I mean, this is only volunteering after all, but I’d have hoped for slightly bette organisation!