Posted 09:36AM on Monday 05 June 2017
Ruth has made a real difference to the life of Willie Hayes, who has health and communication issues. Owing to his particular needs, he is sometimes unable to concentrate for extended periods. Ruth has spent evenings with Willie when he has not been able to engage much with her, but she has persevered.
When the two of them are out together, she introduces him as her friend.
The feeling is mutual. When Ruth appears, Willie smiles and waves, usually going straight to her bag to see what activities she has brought for them to do. They share an interest in arts and crafts, baking and going out for coffee. Ruth has also accompanied Willie on trips to the Continental Christmas Market and W5.
Willie relies heavily on his staff team, but such is his trust in Ruth that when they are out and about he is happy to leave the staff behind.
For the last few months Ruth has been on university placement in Dublin and had to suspend her weekly visits. But as the end of her placement approached, she made contact with Willie’s staff team to say that she would soon be back and would like to volunteer her time again.
For her dedication, Ruth has been nominated as Windermere’s Volunteer of the Year.