I live on a road with many elderly people. During lockdown I felt a yearning to be proactive and to do something positive for my elderly neighbours.
I wrote my name, address and mobile number on a card and dropped it through their letterbox. I said I was available to collect their prescriptions from the chemist and offered to buy basic food for them such as milk, bread and eggs.
I received a call from my elderly neighbour who said she had hurt her leg and could not get out, she gave me the details to collect her prescription. This became a weekly occurrence for two of my neighbours.
On a Friday I would regularly bake bread and on a Saturday, I decided to wrap 4 pieces of bread and deliver them to each of my elderly neighbours.
The bread was gratefully received and the conversations developed as I stood 2 metres safely away on their driveway.
During the summer I grew potatoes and onions in my garden. When I dug them up there was far too much than I could manage so I made 20 bags and delivered them to my neighbours. Again, this gave way to discussions and neighbourly friendships started to develop.
I have been blessed by my neighbours and the sacrifice on my part has been minimal.
I have been rewarded by their strength and their courage through this difficult pandemic.
I would encourage everyone to choose one neighbour on your road to befriend. You do not have to give a lot of your time as what is most important is that you are committed and consistent in giving 15 minutes or an hour a week.
It has been my experience in the most meaningful way that little things mean a lot.