92-year-old Joseph from Sandwell, near Birmingham, was referred to Age UK by a local community officer, after his wife of 64 years died. Even though Joseph felt he didn't need any help, Age UK refused to give up on him.
Someone from Age UK Sandwell went to meet Joseph and see how he was. Although his general mental and emotional wellbeing was clearly very low, Joseph didn’t really want anyone to come and visit.
Age UK then arranged for a friendship scheme coordinator to visit Joseph twice more and eventually persuaded him to give befriending a try.
Joseph gets a befriender
Derek started to visit Joseph and they hit it off almost immediately, finding lots of common topics to chat about. He now visits Joseph every week for at least 2 hours and they’ve been able to go on trips together occasionally, too – such as the National Memorial arboretum.
Age UK Sandwell also arranged for Joseph to visit the local lunch club and he's made some new friends in the area. Plus, he’s started gardening again, with a little kickstart from Age UK Sandwell’s gardeners who helped clear the undergrowth - this has also lead to trips to the local garden centre with Derek.
Joseph doesn't really like admitting that he was lonely - he's a proud man who fought in WW2 and is highly decorated.
He says now that he was too embarrassed to admit he needed help and friends and is extremely grateful to Age UK Sandwell who ‘refused to give up on him’.