Sadaf lends a listening ear 25 August 2023 Sadaf Khan is 41 and lives in Airdrie with her husband and three daughters. A housing repairs call handler at North Lanarkshire Council, she is now a Kindness Caller with Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, delivering support calls to service users in Punjabi or Urdu. Previously Sadaf had volunteered in a similar role with Lanarkshire Carers, calling people who were carers and came from a similar background – she moved to Scotland at the age of 23 from Pakistan when she got married. I also thought it was a very important thing to do because many older people in the Asian community are quite isolated. After quitting that role during Covid-19, Sadaf had no hesitation in joining the dedicated CHSS project to deliver Kindness Calls to the south-east Asian community in Scotland. Sadaf said: “I really enjoyed my work with Lanarkshire Carers because I felt I was helping someone who just needed to talk about their feelings and to feel comfortable doing that. “But when Covid happened, I was working from home, my husband was working from home and the kids’ schooling was also from home. It was too much, and I gave up volunteering. “I have a little more time now the kids are back at school. I also thought it was a very important thing to do because many older people in the Asian community are quite isolated. They perhaps came to the UK without speaking English and never picked it up because they didn’t need to. having a volunteer who speaks your language and understands where you come from is so important. “Knowing they can get a call from someone who not only speaks their language but also comes from a similar background is a really helpful thing for this community because you can connect them to their roots. “I think some people can feel trapped in their own thoughts and a little frustrated if they can’t speak about what’s bothering them or don’t have anyone to chat with. Many older people who have a long-term health condition can feel very isolated and don’t want to be a burden to their families, so having a volunteer who speaks your language and understands where you come from is so important. Connecting Calls “I call a lady every Tuesday for a chat. Most of the time we’re speaking in English because that’s her choice, and I’m happy to do whatever is most comfortable for her. “What’s wonderful about our chats is she can share her experiences with me knowing I understand because many of those experiences are mine, too. “I feel very privileged that she trusts me enough to share things with me. It’s a lovely position to be in, where you know someone looks forward to your calls so much. “Volunteering is something everyone should do if they have even a little time. You get such a sense of fulfilment from it. And being able to volunteer and help people from your community who just need to talk to someone, that’s priceless. I am reconnecting her to her roots but I’m reconnecting myself too.” If you – or someone you know – are feeling lonely or isolated, our Kindness Volunteers are here to provide regular Kindness Calls, offering a chat and a friendly listening ear. You can register for Kindness support on our website by visiting Kindness Calls or you can call our Advice Line on 0808 801 0899.