Ron’s a local lockdown hero – is there a lockdown hero in YOUR neighbourhood?
In these challenging times, a huge positive has been the way that people have supported each other. The anxiety and worry of coronavirus has brought out the best in many of us and the loneliness of social distancing has drawn neighbours closer together.
We love hearing great news about how our own customers are stepping-up to make a positive difference in the current crisis. Whether they are keeping in touch with vulnerable neighbours, collecting shopping and medical supplies for others, working in vital frontline roles or lifting the spirits with beautiful garden displays, they’re our local lockdown heroes.
One of these lockdown heroes is Gnosall resident, Ron. A seasoned volunteer, Ron has been everything from a jovial Santa to an enthusiastic tour guide. In recent months, though, he’s been calling on his experience as a bingo caller to hold sessions over the phone.
Supporting the award-winning BeConnected project in Stafford borough, Ron’s telephone bingo sessions have brought some very welcome laughter into the lives of people who can often experience particular feelings of loneliness at this time.
“We’re sometimes so busy laughing and chatting that we forget the bingo!” he admits. “Friendship is about giving something back and making people realise, they’re not alone. In normal times it means a lot but in lockdown, that sense of isolation has been so much harder for a lot of people.
“I enjoy getting involved and if I can be there for a chat and make someone laugh then I feel as though I’ve achieved something.”
One of those who has been taking part in Ron’s telephone bingo sessions is Christine, from Stafford. She told us how important they have been for her during lockdown: “Living on my own, I found the lockdown very hard. It’s terrible when you don’t see anyone. Ron makes us all laugh and reminds us about the lighter side of life. It’s made such a difference.”
Ron says: “I’m lucky to live somewhere with a really strong sense of community and we look out for each other. Little things can make a difference. During the first lockdown at Easter, I left chocolate eggs on the doorsteps of my neighbours and if we’re going shopping, we phone round to see if anyone needs anything. While we can’t all get together, we can still be there for each other.”
Caption: In a picture taken by his wife, Jo, customer hero Ron Mellor received some thank you chocolates from Housing Plus Group.