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Coronavirus: 94 year-old veteran helping to raise spirits during lockdown

Coronavirus: 94 year-old veteran helping to raise spirits during lockdown

Published by Harry Long at 6:09am 16th June 2020.

A 94 year-old former Army Staff Sergeant takes part in a telephone buddy scheme to tackle loneliness and isolation

  • A former Army Staff Sergeant from Yorkshire is taking part in a telephone buddy scheme
  • Dennis Woollons is one of a group of volunteers for the scheme from the Royal British Legion.
  • He speaks to the veterans once a week to help alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation.  

Dennis Woollons is one of a group of volunteers for the scheme from the Royal British Legion.  

He's been regularly speaking to two D-Day veterans in North Yorkshire - one of them in Harrogate.  

The volunteers are helping to lift the spirits of isolated and vulnerable people by keeping them connected to their community.

Dennis said:

“We talk about our service, of course, but also football, rugby league, the weather and we put the world to rights - we all get something out of it. They enjoy talking to somebody from their own era with similar experiences to them.

Dennis has been isolating for ten weeks but says his voluntary work with the Legion is keeping him occupied:

“I call the veterans once a week and we all look forward to it. It will be nice to meet up when all this is over!”

Dennis had a distinguished military career before returning to his career in accountancy.

The Legion’s Area Manager for Yorkshire, Debbie Harding, said:

“The Covid-19 outbreak has created new challenges for those dealing with social isolation and those challenges have increased significantly over the last few weeks. 

“But being at the heart of local communities, the Legion is providing support to so many people during this difficult time, reaching out through our incredible network of members, branches, staff and volunteers. 

“We have seen an increase in the number of people struggling with feelings of loneliness and isolation, so the Legion is encouraging anyone who would like to talk to someone to join our telephone buddy scheme.

“Through our branch network, many of our members and volunteers have been trained to be telephone buddies, and our network is helping to keep individuals and communities connected during this pandemic.”