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Edie shares her story

Edie, 86, began using the Good Neighbours Scheme at Peterborough Citadel Salvation Army after she was diagnosed with arthritis.

I think it is a tremendous job they do. I take my hat off to the workers

Edie needed additional support to help her get her weekly shopping. Every week she receives a visit from a volunteer who takes her shopping and puts it away for her when she gets home.

Edie has always been fiercely independent – formerly training teachers to teach English across the world – she has visited 12 countries in Africa. But now, due to her arthritis, Edie needs a little bit of help. The Good Neighbours Scheme also ensures she has transport to any health appointments she needs.

She said: “I go with the volunteer to the shops. I give her a list and then sit and wait for her.

“She takes me home with the groceries and she puts them away for me. She’s like my granddaughter. She gives me her story and I give her mine.

“I think it is a tremendous job they do. I take my hat off to the workers. If I was to have a last-minute appointment, then I know they would switch things around to make sure I could get there. I really do admire them.

“One lady stepped in while the volunteer was on holiday and she said she didn’t want to stop meeting. Every month I go out for lunch with her – so I’ve developed a friendship out of it.

“[The Good Neighbours Scheme] is brilliant. I have put other people on to them. There are many people who have nobody who comes in and this is something that is so helpful for people.”