Brenda's Time Swaps

Jo Perkins and Brenda Green

Lots of residents have used our Time Swap scheme - swapping some of their time helping others and banking time that they can then use receiving help. Read some real life experiences.

Erewash Time Swapper Brenda Green sits down for a coffee and cake with Time Swap co-ordinator Jo Perkins. They share a good laugh and exchange stories about recent meetings.

Through the Time Swap programme, Brenda says she's developed valued skills, forged friendships and received a great deal of help in return.

Before being introduced to Time Swap, Brenda remembers frequent trips to visit her GP often discussing her sense of loneliness and isolation.

After being handed a Time Swap leaflet, Brenda made a phone-call to the team who helped her fill in a membership form.

Our Time Swap co-ordinator Jo accompanied Brenda to her first Time Swap drop-in session, and she's been an advocate of the scheme ever since.

Brenda said:

"It's really helped me. Before Time Swap, I was going to the doctor regularly saying I had pain here and there. The doctor was doing blood tests but kept saying she couldn't find anything wrong.

"Now I've joined Time Swap, she says I seem a bit different − I explained that I joined the council's scheme and the doctor said that it seems to have really changed me.

"I don't really go to the doctor now, I don't go to casualty at the weekend and I've been getting to sleep a lot easier. I feel like I've really come alive, I feel I've got something to live for."

Brenda was apprehensive about filling in a membership form herself, but one phone call to our co-ordinator Jo and help was at hand.

Brenda continued:

"There was a form to fill in but I'm no good with forms.

"I'm ok with my name and address and a few details but after that my minds goes blank. I called Jo and we filled in the form together.

"The scheme has really helped me. I've got a Jack Russell called Pip and I need to take him out for walks but I cannot go far. That's not fair on the dog so another Time Swap member Tim has been round to walk him for me. I've met Melvyn a few times, he's been round here for a chat and David has helped with DIY, putting up shelves in the summer house."

In return, Brenda has contributed to Time Swap through her skills in knitting. She has joined a group of active Time Swap knitters in Ilkeston, producing wool dolls which she hopes to donate to a leading family support charity.

Brenda said:

"Time Swap is brilliant. It's brought me alive, it's made me some friends, there's always someone there I can talk to or ask for help.

"I'd say to anyone else they should join, it would change their life."