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A dad to depend on

An image of a father and daughter, smiling

“If Dad can’t fix it, nobody can.”

We speak to Simone and her dad Ron about their favourite memories together, being there for each other, and why Simone knows she can always rely on her dad.



“Dad’s had such a colourful and eventful life that he’s like a fountain of knowledge,” says Simone. “What Dad doesn’t know probably isn’t worth knowing about!”

Having worked in a pub, as a coach driver and as a mechanical engineer, Ron has built up an impressive CV over the years. Now, aged 84, Ron spends most days putting his many skills to good use in his workshop at home in Merseyside. “I always find things to do,” Ron explains. “Once upon a time I fixed washing machines – now I make things, and repair anything that’s broken.”

“If Dad can’t fix it, nobody can,” Simone states. “Everything in Dad’s workshop is labelled – all types of nails and screws. I enjoyed helping him out when I was little. I even had my own hammer!”

“And I made you your own toolbag!” Ron chuckles.

Memorable moments

It was Ron’s time working in a pub that arguably had the biggest impact on the direction of his life. “I was working in the bar with my cousin when June walked in,” Ron remembers. “I turned to my cousin and said, ‘I’m going to marry that girl’. And I did!”

An 1980s photo of a man smiling while holding a baby
Hugs with Dad
An 1980s photo of a man smiling while holding a baby
Hugs with Dad

Married life with June was happy – “I can’t fault anything” – and Ron soon settled into his role as a father too. “I always say I had the best childhood,” says Simone. “We weren’t rich, but it didn’t matter – I had the best parents ever. Mum ruled the roost! But I can’t ever remember hearing my parents argue, and it was great to have that sense of security as a child. It was a fun household. I felt really lucky.”

Memories of Simone’s childhood – and family trips to the seaside – feel fresh for Ron. “When Simone was around five we went to Lytham St Annes so she could go on the beach, but she refused!” Ron laughs. “It amazed me. She was the only child who wouldn’t step foot on the beach, because she didn’t want to get sandy.”

Growing up with Ron as a dad resulted in a home brimming with imagination and creativity. “He’d make games out of anything,” says Simone. “One birthday, Dad made me a fishing magnet game, which I loved. He’d also make up lots of bedtime stories for me about animals – like one about ‘Mr Blue Frog’, who fell into a pot of blue paint while decorating the farmyard. Dad was amazing.”

The value of being there

Simone has remained close to her parents throughout adulthood, and has always known she can depend on Ron. 

I’m 40 now, but I know that – whatever goes on in my life – I can still come home and Dad will sort the problem if I need him to.


But in recent years family life for Simone and Ron has changed profoundly. “June got motor neurone disease, and they couldn’t cure it,” Ron reveals. “I remember going to see her in hospital and she said to me, ‘I’m not going to go home Ron, I’m just going to stay here’”.

Since losing June in September 2019 after nearly forty years of marriage, Ron has been without his “best mate”. But Simone is determined to be there for her dad in the same way that Ron has always been there for her. “I know I can always rely on Simone,” Ron explains. “She does all my running about for me, and I know that if I ask Simone for something and she can’t do it, she’ll tell me that she can’t and we’ll work it out together.”

A daughter hugs her dad
Father-daughter friendship
A daughter hugs her dad
Father-daughter friendship

“Me and Dad were always really close when I was a little girl, then as a teenager it was all about me and Mum,” Simone continues. “But obviously Dad and I have grown even closer now. We banter a lot, but we don’t ever fall out. I want to protect him from everything.”

“Oh yes,” Ron agrees. “We love spending time together, and our bond’s very strong. As long as Simone’s happy, I’m happy.”

Simone visits Ron as often as she can between her long shifts as a paediatric nurse. But once a week, Ron has also found it helpful to speak to his telephone friend, Toni. The pair were matched up through the Age UK Telephone Friendship Service during the pandemic, shortly after the loss of June. “It’s been three years since we started talking, and Toni’s like my little sister,” Ron says. “The calls are absolutely priceless to me. They’re a massive part of my week. I’m ready for my call at ten o’clock in the morning, and then after the call I’m buzzing. We can talk about anything.”

I always think that there must be some awfully lonely people out there who can’t talk to anyone at all.


“I hope someone else can get even 10 percent out of the amount of value I’ve got from speaking to Toni,” Ron continues.

For Simone, it’s heartening to know that Ron is receiving some of the kindness he’s always shown others. “Dad’s such a genuine person. He thinks the best of people, and will do anything for anyone,” Simone says. “It’s nice to have someone you can rely on wholeheartedly, no matter what you do. You know they’re still going to be there.”

Relationships and family

As we get older, our relationships with family members can change and evolve.

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Last updated: Jul 19 2023

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