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Mildred's Story

Published on 07 July 2021 11:00 PM

91-year-old Mildred loves shopping, going out for a nice meal, and taking scenic drives to visit relatives. “My daughter and I would have gone clothes shopping, pop into Marks, we like going out for a meal…all that was suddenly stopped.”

Suddenly living alone without the option to see her family last spring, Mildred was referred to Age NI. While initially hesitant about Check In and Chat, she was drawn in by the desire for company and conversation. Without even the chance to get out for a food shop, Check In and Chat volunteer Ken has provided Mildred with someone to go through the experience of lockdown with. “I was wanting to hear other people’s views because they were in a similar way as myself with lockdown. You’re in the house and you can’t go out, and neither can they.”

Ken and Mildred have now been matched and chatting for over a year. “I soon got used to Ken talking to me and vice versa, and now we have wee jokes that we tell one another. Sometimes we’ve both had very little to do between weekly calls, so we’ll just discuss different programs that we’ve seen on the TV.”

They have commiserated about the ups and downs of lockdown, and have connected around shared interests. “He likes to listen to music and he plays music, that fits in as my son is the same way, he plays in a band.”

Mildred is looking forward to returning to restaurants to eat a meal out with her family, but credits Check In and Chat with making the past year easier to bear, and is happy to have Ken to chat to even as society opens back up. “It has been a good thing for me…I would very much recommend Check In and Chat to anyone feeling isolated or lonely. Let’s face it, we’ve all gotten used to lockdown, but we’re going to need someone to talk to even as things begin to open.”

Make a gift today to the Check In and Chat Appeal to bring the power of a friendly phone call to isolated older people like Mildred.



We need your help to train and support more volunteers, so that we can provide friendship calls to break the loneliness for more older people like Mildred. Sadly, even as life returns to normal, isolation is a way of life for many of the 80,000 older people who live alone in Northern Ireland.

To donate to our Check In and Chat appeal visit our appeal page


Last updated: Jul 04 2023

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