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Jessie and El

A friendship that transcends over 60 years. Jessie and El were introduced through Age UK’s Telephone Befriending Service and have formed a very strong and valuable friendship.

This is based on just one phone call a week. Jessie is in her 80s and El is just 20 years old, but as they say below the age gap really doesn’t matter. We caught up with the both to find out about their friendship and what they think of Age UK's Telephone Befriending Service. Jessie started by telling us a little about what life can be like for her...

It’s so lonely down here. I’ve been on my own now for 23 years. I was sick in bed once for nine days and no one even knocked on my door, to see if I was alright. We’ve a lot of things in common, we both like photography, El talks about her work. She’s like a granddaughter to me. She’s so sweet and so caring.  I just wait for her phone call. I dash to the phone because I know it’s going to be El. It gives me a lift, because I might not have spoken to anyone else all week. The age difference doesn’t seem to matter at all.

Jessie | Telephone Befriending Service recipient

I came across Age UK's Telephone Befriending Service when I was looking online for ways I could help. We both like nature and animals. We both like to talk, have a chat, that's how we've got along so well really, with the things we have in common. I wanted to do something that would help people really. I'd describe mine and Jessie's relationship to be really close, it does feel like she is part of my family. Jessie's friendship just makes me happy, it's nice to talk to someone who's similar to me. And both of us come off the call in really high spirits. I feel good that I'm doing something to help someone, and to make her days a little bit brighter. And if I'm having a bit of a down day speaking to her really does cheer me up.

One of the reasons I love speaking to Jessie is learning about someone who is from a completely different generation. We share stories from both of our childhoods, we've grown in completely different ways, but it's great to hear about it and share experiences.

I'd encourage anyone to volunteer with Age UK, you get a sense of purpose and happiness from it. And you might be helping someone who is alone and really needs someone to talk to. It really doesn't take long to make a difference to someone else's life.

El | Telephone Befriending Service volunteer

Free friendship calls for over-60s

Find out more about Age UK's Telephone Befriending Service and how you can sign up to receive a weekly friendship call.

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Last updated: Aug 25 2021

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