Two Good Friends: A story of the perfect Helper Match!
Finding the right match between a Member and Helper is what is at the heart of the Five Good Friends philosophy. The power of friendship is believed to contribute to a much better quality of life as we grow older. We would like to share with you a story from one of our Helper Coordinators and how her journey to find the perfect Helper match has sewn the seed for a wonderful friendship.
Two Good Friends
How A Helper Can Make A Difference.
This is a story that began last year with a simple request from a Member to her Care Manager. A weekly game of chess.
Sounds easy, right? Well it took over 6 months to find the perfect fit even before an introduction took place. We posted advertisements online, shared flyers and interviewed many people. There were people who could play chess but lived too far away, or they lived close by but couldn't play Chess, or they just changed their mind and withdrew.
Then one day I interviewed someone who was highly educated with two degrees and was working on her third. She came across as compassionate, warm, humble and down to earth. I was worried she would change her mind during the onboarding process, it was only 4 hours per week and it was an hour round trip from where she lived. Plus we had just entered a global pandemic! But she didn't! She came right the way through the process to join the Five Good Friends platform.
When it came time to organise a meet and greet between the Member and Helper, the Member’s daughter and I waited with baited breath hoping that this would go well. After the meet and greet I found out that the Member and the helper played a game of Chess together, I think it was the first time in several years that the Member had played! A few weeks later I had a call from the Members daughter. She told me that her mum has very little companionship in her life and it can take time to build trust with people. She shared that her Mum had said of her new Helper "she is such a good person". The Member and Helper now have bi-weekly chess games together and chat. A genuine friendship is growing with the Member receiving companionship in a way that is meaningful to her. And at long last, a simple game of Chess!
Story written by FGF Helper Coordinator Joy Spence