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"Volunteering is such a pleasure and such a joy"

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Karon’s life fell apart when her husband of 18 years walked out, taking all their savings and leaving her homeless with a child. After going into “total meltdown”, Karon has found a new life in volunteering for Bromford.

Karon from Irthlingborough, Northampton said: “I lost my home, my car, my job, my husband – everything I had worked so hard for had gone. I was devastated and at rock bottom and I didn't know where to go. Bromford supported me through so much and helped me through an awful time, rehousing me and helping me to start a new life. As I got stronger and needed less support I wanted to give something back.

“Volunteering has changed my life. I have met new people, made new friends and learnt new skills. I can talk to people because I've been there – I can explain where I was and where I am now. I am getting involved in so many different things and am loving it.

“Something I am very passionate about is helping to develop a skype training service for customers. Skype is ideal for anyone who might be isolated, for example some elderly people might not be able to get out. It gives them an opportunity to talk and means that they can still access support if Bromford can’t get to them. It only takes two minutes to set up and the best thing about it is that you can see the person and know immediately how urgent their need is or if they are upset. You can show them forms on skype and it’s more personal than being on the phone. I am really enjoying promoting it.

“The other thing I am particularly proud of is helping to set up a drop-in centre in Wellingborough which has really taken off. We run a weekly Monday coffee morning at the Salvation Army building and we now have a regular group of people who come along and who have become friends. Anyone is welcome to pop in – we chat and do things together like play bingo, basically whatever people want to do. A Monday is a good day to meet as, again, the weekend can be a lonely time if you feel isolated or are having problems.

“I am in a completely different place now compared to where I was when my husband left. I wasn’t eating and was crying all the time. Everything has turned around and I look forward to getting up every day. What has happened has made me a different person and I want to give a lot more. I really hope this encourages others to get involved. I believe in Karma and there is nothing better than helping others.

“There is hope out there. Through Bromford I now have a new life and am really happy. It can happen for you, you just have to ask.”

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