A man living with Asperger syndrome has heaped praise on a charity worker who has constantly checked on his wellbeing during the pandemic.

Warren Farley, of Shoebury High Street, had been fearing loneliness when the coronavirus pandemic’s first lockdown was put in place in March.

But Rachel Rooks, who has worked as a co-ordinator for the supported volunteering project at charity SAVS for a decade, has ensured Warren’s spirits have been boosted each week with a telephone call.

Warren, 48, admits the conversations with Rachel have played a key role in helping him get through the pandemic.

He said: “She has telephoned me once a week since the start of the pandemic to check on my wellbeing.

“Rachel has helped me stay connected and have hope for the future. I’m so thankful for her going out of her way to help me.

All smiles - Warren Farley and Rachel Rooks

All smiles - Warren Farley and Rachel Rooks

“Her phone calls have proved that my mental health is improving in these tough times.

“People like Rachel keep the fabric of our community going.

“I first met her a few years ago when she came to the Harland Centre, where I was a patient, and told us to get involved in volunteering to help our mental wellbeing.

“I started volunteering at the Shared Space, on Southchurch Road, after that and I love it.

“Rachel has played an important role in my life, with the psychological and emotional support she provides being invaluable.”


Rachel, 48, insists she is just doing her job by checking in on Warren and was gobsmacked when she discovered her nomination as a community hero.

She said: “I have been making contact with the people I support during lockdown. Warren is very generous and tells me on a regular basis that I have helped support his mental health and kept him feeling connected to the community.

“It’s lovely that Warren has nominated me and to know that I’m helping in some kind of way.”

We want to shine a light on those who have played a key role in helping you get through the pandemic.

To nominate your Community Hero, simply complete the form below.