David’s life had not been easy and has been through relationship breakdown and a period of homelessness, but with the help of Age UK Barnet, he got his life back on track and found the perfect befriender.
David had been married for 20 years when their relationship broke down – one thing lead to another and he ended up homeless, selling the Big Issue. It was a tough time, but David found himself drawn into the street culture and did find friendship.
By the time he was put in touch with Age UK Barnet, he had few friends and no surviving family and had just been diagnosed with MS, so was lonely and felt isolated.
Age UK Barnet helped him get his life back on track with emotional and practical support and he was referred to the befriending service. Then, after his befriender had to move on, IT volunteer, Arthur went round to fix David’s iphone.
‘We clicked immediately over a shared love of music from the 60s and 70s so I asked to become his befriender,’ says Arthur. ‘We have a lot to talk about as we both have played guitar in bands; David’s being fully professional at times.
‘His power of recall of small detail about members of the bands of that era, their music, managers and associates is remarkable. His band would often be on tour and were the support to main acts of the time such as Smokey.’
Earlier this year, they went to see The Eagles in concert at Wembley stadium.
‘Although organising the logistics of the journey were complicated by David’s disability, this concert was the highlight of our year and will stay long in our memories,’ says Arthur.
Arthur has also helped install Sky TV in David’s bedroom and a multiplay CD player which allows David to listen to some of his favourite music using a remote control from his day chair.
After some periods of illness recently, David is hoping to get back to playing the electronic keyboard (which Arthur installed soon after they met) and singing some of his favourite songs.