Time Swappers step up to help member in need

Published on: Thursday, 28th February 2019

Members of Derbyshire County Council’s popular Time Swap scheme have come together to help out a resident in her time of need.

After severely injuring her ankle in an accident, Time Swapper Laurie Morgen was worried about how she would get things done – especially walking her three dogs Digory, Lexi and Mem.

Neighbours and family stepped in to help while she was in hospital for a week, but Laurie was told that she’d be out of action for at least six weeks while her foot was healing in plaster.

Unable to walk or drive, Laurie, from Long Eaton, was feeling anxious about her much-loved pets who are used to a good run on a daily basis.  

Having joined the county council’s Time Swap scheme last year, Laurie reached out to her local co-ordinator Jo Perkins to see if the project could help in any way.

The response was overwhelming, with lots of local Time Swap members volunteering to give Laurie a helping hand.

Laurie said: “Joining Time Swap was one of the best things I ever did. Right away, Jo made an emergency shout out to the members and soon had a list of people willing to give time to help me. I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am to everyone who has stepped forward. You never know when something like this can happen – you don’t plan on having a broken ankle.”

It’s not only dog walking that Time Swap members are helping Laurie with. The kind-hearted volunteers have also helped to get her to vital appointments at the hospital as well as drive her around to maintain vending machines she services as part of her job.

They’re also pitching in to take the wheelie bins out and helping Laurie get to and from the laundrette.

Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Carol Hart said: “This is a fantastic example of Time Swap in action. Without it, Laurie would have really struggled.  Not only would she have had to spend a fortune on dog walkers and taxis, she wouldn’t have been able to keep working, which would have caused her considerable financial strain. “I’d like to thank everyone who stepped in. It just shows how willing people are to pull together when someone’s in need.”

The council’s Time Swap scheme is a countywide project which launched in 2015.

Time Swap members earn “time credits” for every hour they help others. This hour can then be used to get help for themselves with things such as DIY, gardening, dog walking, lifts, being escorted to appointments or events, music lessons, help with IT and much more.

Her accident has brought home to Laurie the importance of having a safety network around during time of illness. She added: “I genuinely have no idea how I would have coped without Time Swap. When the Time Swappers turn up to take the dogs out, they go crazy with excitement – it’s beautiful to see.

“Somebody out there may wonder what service or skill they can offer, but anyone can keep another person company.”

The county council is always looking for new people to join its Time Swap scheme and anyone who would like to find out more or get involved can visit www.derbyshire.gov.uk/timeswap

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