From volunteer to client in a blink

On Monday mornings I and Kasha, my OSF visiting dog, used to spend a pleasant hour with a client. The lady can only move about her home slowly, using a walking frame, needs help with showering and requires meals to be delivered.

Suddenly, after a serious car crash in June, I temporarily became an OSF client and learnt the value of our small, caring community. On the Monday after the weekend incident, instead of visiting our client, it was I who was shuffling around with a walking frame due to fractures, and needing my husband, Brian’s help with showering and dressing. Meals from the same caterers my client uses were ordered as we could not cope with buying and cooking food.

Two days later, overwhelmed by the trauma, liaison with officials and insurance company, having to cancel a holiday and other engagements, and even by the constant flow of kind phone calls, cards and flower deliveries, we were struggling. Brian, 79, had been fatigued since catching Covid three months previously, so walking Kasha now became an additional chore rather than a pleasure. She missed the games we usually played and was snapped at when she got in the way.

On the Wednesday, a distressed early morning email to OSF brought fast help. The same day, Frances and Gemma collected Kasha and took her to Gemma’s home, giving us four days’ ‘breather’ to concentrate on the essentials and come to terms with what had happened. A happy dog was returned to us late on the Sunday afternoon. A big ‘thank you’ to all at OSF, especially to Gemma and her partner.

Hopefully Kasha and I will resume our volunteer roles in the future – I, with an increased appreciation of client needs and of OSF’s work.