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Tauranga puts hand up to assist the elderly

Call Kim with your shopping list. She will help. Photo: Daniel Hines/SunLive.

As Age Concern reaches out to the elderly and the anxious caught in the virus scare, a Tauranga woman has also put up her hand to assist and comfort.

Kim Hedges of Papamoa invites the elderly and vulnerable to give her a shout.

“I will drop by, get their grocery list and the money, do their shopping and then drop it off for them.

“That’s the way I am built.

“If there are elderly and vulnerable people choosing to self-isolate because they think it’s safer in isolation, then I can help them.”

Meanwhile Age Concern is appealing to older Kiwis to ask for help and stay connected.

“This is not a time to sit in silence,” says Age Concern’s chief executive, Stephanie Clare.

“Too often we hear of people not wanting to be a burden or make a fuss. But please make a fuss. We have staff and volunteers who can help direct you.”

Age Concern is encouraging friends, family and communities to find new ways to keep connected – Skype calls, delivery a meal, phoning each other, leaving notes of kindness.

But Kim Hedges is already establishing her own connection.

“It’s just the way I am built. I think of how I can help in a situation, rather than focusing on myself. 

“Watching the world going crazy, stockpiling and thinking of themselves, it just made me wonder how I could help people.”

The people she wants to shop for are those self- isolating because they don’t feel safe or capable of doing their own shopping or going to the Post Office to send a letter. 

“But if someone is self-isolating because they believe they have the virus, then I can still help. I am a smart girl. We will figure a way, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

“I understand from the work I do there are a lot of vulnerable people out there.”

Kim is main respite carer for a little boy with special needs and a support worker for a tetraplegic man.

Kim starts work at 4pm and does overnight shifts four nights a week.

“So I have plenty of spare time during the day.”

And she is willing to give that time away to help those in need.

“It just seems to be a natural thing for me to do.”

Find your nearest Age Concern contact details at: www.ageconcern.org.nz

Kim Hedges offer is completely separate of Age Concern but her number is: 0210 905 6847 or message her at: wardkim@gmail.com

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