The feeling of being disconnected from the world around us is becoming somewhat familiar. As we spend more of our time interacting through online platforms and mobile phones, we often forget what it feels like to connect with someone in person. Our quality of life is directly attributed to the quality of connections we make with other people and the drive for human connection is so powerful that feeling lonely and isolated can be detrimental to our health.
Volunteering has a positive impact on the community and allows us to connect with others in a way that makes us feel like we are part of something bigger. The power of volunteering brings together communities and different cultures in times of need.
Someone that understands well the benefit of volunteering is Sheena Picken, a former Volunteer with Samaritans, who now lives at Catherine House Care Home in Frome. Sheena spent many years supporting several organisations around Bath and her story begins in 1960 when she found her passion for volunteering and building connections within her community.
During the 10 years that Sheena supported Samaritans, she used her empathy and patience to sensitively encourage, inspire, support, and guide those in pain and sorrow. She could feel the difference she made to her clients but also the difference it made in herself. Sheena continued her love for volunteering and supported organisations including No1 Royal Crescent, Meals on Wheels, and Dorothy House Hospice.
After many years of fulfillment through volunteering and supporting others, Sheena moved into her new Somerset home, Catherine House in April 2021. Sheena now loves to spend her time in the garden when her daughter, Barbara, who visits regularly. Watching the wildlife is one of Sheena’s favourite things to do and she has a bird feeder outside her bedroom window so she can watch the beautiful birds chirping away in the morning.
It is now Sheena’s turn to feel the love and compassion and support that she so selflessly gave throughout her life through volunteering. The power of volunteers turned out to be the real strength of the service Samaritans provided, to listen, with confidentiality, with empathy and without judgment, all skills of a carer.
A basic human need is to feel wanted, to feel valued and to feel loved. Catherine House, part of Evolve Care Group, has created an environment where inclusion and being part of a family is crucial for the quality of life for the people that live and work within the home.
To read more about Inclusion and Evolve’s Care Academy, please visit www.connectionscount.org.