National Grid ESO Gee Healthcare Befriending Services

Supporting our colleagues and charities during COVID-19 – Gee Healthcare Befriending Services

We’re continuing to support colleagues who are involved in community-based organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Gee Healthcare Befriending Services is based in Walsall and provides activities for social integration among Black and Minority  Ethnic (BAME) older people in the community. They promote independence and address problems of isolation and loneliness. 

National Grid ESO Gee Healthcare Befriending Services

Elton Muzondo, a Data Analyst in our Electricity Connection Compliance Team goes to church with some of the volunteers and saw the brilliant work they do. He also volunteers and makes calls to vulnerable people as part of Gee Healthcare Befriending Services. Elton commented: 

“We conducted mini market research in Walsall and surrounding areas, and this identified that there were gaps in befriending of BAME older people in Walsall. We noted that most of the older people wanted to have access to more daytime activities and this would help them to integrate socially with different people.” 

Before COVID-19 they were doing weekly one to one visits, and helping people with household chores, cleaning, ironing along with simply making conversation with them. The charity works hard to make people feel less isolated or lonely. 

COVID-19 challenges 

National Grid ESO Gee Healthcare Befriending Services

The COVID-19 pandemic has created extra challenges for Gee Healthcare Befriending Services. They’ve been working hard with the local community to raise awareness of social interaction and loneliness, educating people to stay safe, and assisting with food.  

Many of the people they care for are vulnerable and haven’t even been able to leave their homes to go the shops due to transport problems, long food queues as well as the risk of infection. Volunteers have been picking up fresh produce including UHT milk and other necessities. Our donation has helped fund this food for vulnerable and isolated people. 

They have also bought Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including aprons, gloves, face masks and sanitisers to visit the most vulnerable people where they can’t provide the required care over the phone.  

We were delighted to provide Gee Healthcare Befriending Services with a donation as part of our community fund and show our support for their work in caring for vulnerable BAME people in the Walsall area.