Liz provides a friendly voice for elderly people self-isolating during the lockdown

May 26, 2020

Everyone at our Newport Pillgwenlly store is so proud of community champion Liz Burden who, even after a busy shift at work, makes sure she talks on the phone to the elderly members of a group she normally volunteers with and gets them the shopping they need.

Before the lockdown Liz, who's been community champion for two years, regularly helped with Ffrind i Mi – a group set up to help people living on their own meet new friends.

She said: "They're a lovely group of mainly elderly people, but at the moment they're self isolating so we can't have our meetings or outings.

"I've been ringing about six or seven of them in the evenings or during the day when I've got a day off to have a chat and make sure they are okay. Just keeping in touch with them really, trying to keep their spirits up. They've all got my number too and they know they can give me a ring at anytime. One of them, Violet, is 86 and a seamstress and she is now making scrubs for the NHS!

"With the shopping, they just let me know what they need and I'll get it for them, take it round and leave it on their windowsill. I'll have a quick chat with them too, but at a safe distance. It must be dreadful for them not being able to go out. I can't imagine it. To me doing what I'm doing is just human nature."

Joan Watkins, who helped to set up the befriending service, got in touch on Facebook to say thanks to Liz for her support.

She said: "Liz is a really, really nice caring person and quite a character too. Everybody is grateful for what she does and everyone is very fond of her, including me. She is a first-class champion for Asda .

"During the current lockdown Liz has been working with me to ensure that all our members, the majority of whom are elderly and live on their own, are being contacted to make sure they are alright and if they need help.

"Liz has been a really first class partner with us. Before the lockdown she's been really helpful getting us a little bit of funding from Asda so we have been able to take people on trips and outings.

Asda Newport Pillgwenlly store manager Karen Woods said: "Liz lives and breathes the Asda belief when it comes to the community. She puts her heart and soul into everything she does in the community. She cares about the community so much.

"She is helping with Ffrind i Mi in her own time after she's finished her shifts doing her community and home shopping roles here – starting at 3am! She is absolutely going above and beyond at the moment."

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