Pensioner says helper was ‘the most caring person’

jpco 9-4-14 Age UK, Home from Hospital L-R, Angela Donnelly, Kenith Vincent and Volunteer Sheila (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140704-132342001

jpco 9-4-14 Age UK, Home from Hospital L-R, Angela Donnelly, Kenith Vincent and Volunteer Sheila (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140704-132342001

Have your say

A pensioner has thanked a volunteer who helped him while he recovered from a broken arm.

Kenneth Vincent, 81, of West Green, received help from Home From Hospital volunteer, Angela Donnelly, with his shopping and house chores for five weeks after he left hospital in late December 2013.

Mr Vincent, who lives alone, said: “She was the most caring person and sympathetic and helpful, what more can I say? I would definitely recommend the service if all the carers are the same as Angie.

“They couldn’t get better help any where.”

Home from Hospital is a free service, funded by West Sussex County Council, for vulnerable adults who have had a stay in hospital and live alone.

Mr Vincent was taken to East Surrey Hospital after he broke his left arm near his shoulder on December 15.

His walking stick slipped while he was returning from visiting a friend that day.

He said he learnt about the service during his stay at hospital and was discharged on Christmas Eve.

Mr Vincent said: “Being left-handed I couldn’t do much for myself.”

He arranged to receive from one of the service’s volunteers Age UK and met Angela for the first time shortly afterwards.

Angela, known as Angie, 56, of Pound Hill, visited Mr Vincent at his home for up to two hours per week.

He said: “I was grateful that somebody was coming to help me. [Angie helped me] a great deal. She took me shopping every week and did bits and pieces around the house, since I couldn’t quite manage myself.

“She was very friendly, even enough to sit and talk to me for which I was very grateful.”

Angie, who coordinates the service at Age UK’s The Silver Birch Centre in Tilgate, said: “It’s wonderful, it’s very rewarding. I’m quite passionate about it.

“The rewards come from seeing some body being independent again and being more confident.

“When they come out of hospital they feel afraid, they’ve lost their confidence.”

Mrs Donnelly said that the service, which was set-up recently, was looking for more users.

She said she visited GP surgeries, sheltered accommodation and hospitals in and around Crawley to raise its profile.

She said: “We’ve got volunteers at the ready but it’s just getting it out there.”

It offers practical support for up to two hours per week for six weeks. It was designed to help clients who live alone regain confidence, independence and combat isolation after a hospital stay.

For more information, including how to volunteer for the service, call 01903 717130 or email