With the help of kind supporters like you, we are working hard to be there and offer support to lonely older people up and down the country. Hear about the difference we’re making in people’s lives.
Barbara gets a regular call from her friend Mel thanks to Age UK's Call in Time service.
As if losing your partner wasn’t a big enough blow to have to deal with, on top of this, Barbara from Devon also had to come to terms with losing her daughter to cancer.
Barbara explains, ‘My husband passed away 4 years ago. On the same day my daughter was diagnosed with cancer, so I was immediately caring for her. That lasted 3 years, then it went to her kidneys, and she passed away in a hospice. I think the worst thing was the loneliness. I was very, very, very lonely, and very, very, very sad.
That's what I feel about Mel and my Call in Time. She's a very special friend to me.
‘I couldn’t tell you how I felt. Numb. I really didn’t have any feelings. That’s what frightened me in a way. I just survived day-to-day. It’s very difficult to explain. You just don’t believe it’s happened.’
Thankfully the story doesn’t end there. Barbara was referred to our Call in Time telephone befriending service by social services, through which, she was partnered up with her own befriender, Mel.
Florence met her husband Albie when she was 15, and was married to him for 60 blissful years.
When they went to hospital for Albie to have a small operation, they weren’t prepared for the devastating news. ‘The doctor came in and said, “I can’t do anything for you, your lungs are full of asbestos.”’
Florence pauses. ‘We walked out of that hospital like a pair of zombies. It knocked us for six.’
Florence was experiencing a delayed reaction to her change in circumstance, which is very common. Thankfully, she reached out to Age UK.
‘It was lovely contacting Age UK. I went to a bereavement group. I like to hear how other people feel, if they feel the silly things I do, and I was amazed how much I enjoyed it,’ Florence explains. ‘Going to the Age UK group gives you more confidence and a lighter heart.
'The support from Age UK is enormous. If you feel a bit low or miserable, you can pop in and have a cup of tea and there’s always someone there to talk to.’
92-year-old Len got in touch with his local Age UK to enquire about their befriending services and is now visited by volunteer befriender Ivor.
In this video, Len and Ivor talk about their growing friendship, and how Age UK's befriending service has made a difference.
They spend an hour each week chatting about a range of topics, and they have developed a strong friendship.