Crisis Heroes’ super senior helps those in need
In her seventies, Melbourne resident Joan English discovered Crisis Heroes online at the end of last year, and since this time has helped seven different people via the platform.
This includes driving people to the shops, dropping them at GP appointments, catching up for coffee, walking dogs, and chatting online.
Joan said her highlights from using Crisis Heroes include “Just talking and hearing other people's stories and having a coffee and a chat with like-minded people, who really, are just like any of us - in need of a bit of help now and again.”
Joan has recently connected with Melbourne Crisis Heroes user Louise, who reached out for assistance on the platform due to the isolation of lockdown.
“I have taken her to the shops, when it was permitted, and called into her home for a chat,” says Joan.
“We talk on the phone a lot and she feels she gets empathy and understanding, she knows I have been through a lot in the past and thinks that I understand, which I do.”
Joan’s story is nothing short of incredible. She arrived in Australia in 1974 with her two small daughters, migrating from Cyprus as a UK citizen. She married an RAF fighter pilot who flew English Electric Lightnings, a British high-level interceptor.
The BFO asked that Joan’s husband fly for King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, and soon after departing Cyprus, disappeared.
“I managed to get over to Saudi Arabia to search for him and after much ado, returned home to pick up my girls on school camp in the hills of Troodos,” she said.
“On 20th July 1974 - Turkey invaded the island and war was declared. I was captured by Turk soldiers on my way to collect my girls, 6 and 9yrs old, and eventually hid them in the boot of my car and drove across the island....”
Joan shares her story for context – “I have had my share of difficult times.”
“So, I know what a smile and a friendly face can do to someone's day,” she says.
“I know what a few words of encouragement mean, a smile, a chat, an understanding of putting yourself in someone else's shoes.
“I also know that helping others, even in a small way, also helps me in return, after all, isn't that what life is about?”