Wiltshire Red Cross volunteer gets call from England legend

Wiltshire Red Cross volunteer gets call from England legend

Published by Jack Deery at 6:09am 19th May 2020.

3 minute read

The charity have launched a support line for the most vulnerable during the coronavirus crisis.

Former England striker and now Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker was keen to find out more about the project so he gave volunteer Charlie Bath a call. 

Charlie is one of the volunteers who mans the support line

The 34 year-old was a self-employed personal trainer and sports massage therapist before the pandemic, but now she spends four hours of her day taking calls from people who are staying home and finding it difficult to access food and medication, or feeling lonely and worried.

The British Red Cross have launched a coronavirus support line in order to help people during this difficult time, and Charlie told the goalscorer all about it: 

"There is something quite magical when you can have that connection, when someone has managed to offload and you can hear the change of tone in their voice go from worry and anxiety to realising someone cares and will do their best to help.

Working on the support line has been a challenge. But the reward is hearing the change in someone’s voice when they know help is on its way.

The Red Cross has helped me personally because it’s given me a focus at a time when I wasn’t able to work."

Charlie has received all kinds of calls, from a young man struggling to recover from the virus after returning home from hospital, to a recently bereaved elderly woman who had no support network.

The pair discussed the charity, as Gary has recently donated two months of his salary to them, what they've been doing in lockdown and a little bit about football too. 

Gary Lineker calls Red Cross support line volunteer
The pair discussed what life is like during lockdown and what they want to happen to the football season

Gary said

"This crisis is not just about people being ill, but the way it has affected their lives. Many people are struggling during lockdown and the Red Cross helpline clearly offers support for those who may not be receiving help from anywhere else. It is comforting to hear first-hand from a volunteer on the frontline responding to this horrible virus."

In Wiltshire, the charity’s emergency response team has, so far, helped more than 196 people in the community.

The free and confidential British Red Cross coronavirus support line number is 0808 196 3651 and is open daily from 10am to 6pm.

You can find out more information by going to www.redcross.org.uk

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