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The stories behind the adverts

Colin sits in an armchair looking at the camera

Meet Terrence, Gwen and Colin

You've seen them in the ad breaks for Coronation Street, but here's your chance to find out more about the older people whose loneliness has been lessened with the help of Age UK.

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Need some help? We're here for you. Call our advice line free on 0800 678 1602, 8am-7pm, 365 days a year or visit the information pages on our website.

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Colin's story

Colin was married to his wife Joan Ann for 27 years. After her death, he felt like the bottom had fallen out of his world. Without family or close friends nearby to turn to, Colin became desperately lonely. "Although there were lots of friendly people in my community, I didn’t want to burden them with my sadness," he told us. 

Thankfully when Colin called the Age UK Advice Line to ask about a financial matter, our adviser could tell he was at a low ebb. They suggested he try Call in Time, Age UK’s telephone befriending service. Since then, Colin chats regularly to a befriender who’s become like a daughter to him.

Gwen's story

Gwen is from St Helens. Gwen has a "very good" family she acknowledges have their own lives to live, so she often finds herself spending time on her own. "When they're not there I'm lost," she admits. "You don't want to worry other people. You think, 'I don't want to spoil their Christmas or their holiday', so you make up a story that you're alright."

Thankfully, Gwen found company and a sense of purpose when she started volunteering with Age UK Mid Mersey. "It gives you something to get up and get dressed for," says Gwen. "Age UK have been brilliant for me because [now] I'm not on my own."

Terrence's story

Since his mother's death 20 years ago, Terrence has had no one to share Christmas with. His Christmas Day used to be spent alone in front of the TV. Five years ago, when Terrence was in the midst of a severe bout of depression, a friend suggested he talk to Age UK. He started with a computer class at Age UK Oldham – now he’s now part of the older LGBT group too.

Terrence now volunteers as a befriender for a 90-year-old woman with dementia. “I’m giving something back because Age UK gave me hope,” he says. He visits her weekly in her nursing home – and this year, the home has invited him to spend Christmas Day there.

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