Community safety advocate befriends isolated pensioner during lockdown

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When a Scottish Fire and Rescue Service employee from Bishopbriggs called a pensioner about fire safety advice it was the start of a true friendship.

Community safety advocate Lynn Sweeney, 60, who has worked in her current SFRS role in East and West Dunbartonshire and Argyll and Bute for six years quickly struck up a rapport with Georgina from Milngavie who is in her nineties and lives alone.

She said: “It was obvious she wanted a wee blether and I found out that she hadn’t been out of her house since January due to her health.

“As we chatted we realised we had a lot in common. 

“Georgina loves to crochet but she told me she was running out of wool so I promised her that I’d get some to her as soon as restrictions eased.

“I lost my mum three years ago, but talking with this lady made me feel like I was talking to my mum again.  

“I told her I would phone her on a weekly basis to make sure she was alright and I’ve done that each week for the past few months. 

“She enjoys the conversations and I actually feel good too because she is such an upbeat person.”

The pensioner will receive a free Home Fire Safety Visit review where she lives when it is safe to do so, due to coronavirus guidelines.

Lynn, who was praised by SFRS Chief Officer Martin Blunden for her efforts, added: “When the visit is rescheduled, I’ll make sure I can go along and meet Georgina in person. 

“We can have another blether and a piece of cake and I can finally deliver the wool that’s in the boot of my car.”

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is keen to reach the most vulnerable people in Scotland’s communities, so if you know someone who may be at risk and you would like to arrange a free Home Fire Safety Visit please call 0800 731 999 or text ‘fire’ to 80800.