Volunteering is always a win win

It was during his daily walks around Huntington, the Foss and Haxby during lockdown last summer, that Danny bumped into Juliet. She was walking her two dogs, and they were doing that little dance walkers do trying to give each other room to walk past each other, in a socially distanced way. 

A super friendly chap, Danny always says 'Hello' to anyone he passes, and often stops for a longer chat if someone feels like it.

Juliet was very open, saying 'Isn't it a bit sad when you only have two little dogs to talk to?' as well as stating it was the only reason she had to go out. 

Recognising her as a lonely person, Danny told her about Move the Masses and how she could give them a call for a walking buddy, if she felt like it. 

Six months later, Danny and our Move Mate Project Manager Tiff were having a catch-up. Tiff casually queried how far Danny lived from Skelton, as a new beneficiary there needed a Move Mate.

Danny explained it wasn't that easy to get to Skelton from his home, but he decided he felt happy to get a bus over there in better weather, if no other volunteer could be found. 

It was when Tiff explained it was a woman with two dogs, that the penny dropped. 'I think I might have met her before and introduced her to Move the Masses,' Danny thought. 

This was indeed the very same woman he had met many months ago whom he had recognised to be lonely and recommended Move the Masses to.

Danny and Juliet's first walk together was last Tuesday. They took a wiggly route through the backstreets of Haxby in the rain and did not stop chatting for the whole time.

Danny thought Juliet was lovely and he knew she loved having the company, and the walk too. 

I know she really appreciated the walk, but what I don't know is whether she understood how much I also get out of it. Being able to make a difference to someone's life is an absolute privilege, it is such a tremendous opportunity and makes you feel so good as well. Volunteering is always a win win.

Juliet reiterates that they had a lovely time together, with the conversation flowing and no awkward moments.

She realised she had been very low before their walk, the lowest she had ever felt in her life. Not having talked to anyone properly for months and with one of her beloved dogs having recently had a stroke, Juliet was lonely and felt isolated. 

Danny is such a tonic, it was exactly what I needed. He totally put me at ease and couldn't have been nicer.

She went on to say that Danny was the type of person anyone could get on with and that they had quite a lot in common, talking about things like music from the 60s.

He really lifted me, he is so upbeat. I cannot sing his praises highly enough. He made me feel normal again after feeling low for so long. Even my confidence rose after our time together. 

Danny and Juliet will now meet regularly on a Tuesday for a walk and a chat.