Lizzie (38) and Francis (97) were introduced almost three years ago in Surrey Quays. Lizzie heard about South London Cares through her workplace and decided to get involved with our Love Your Neighbour programme. Francis, meanwhile, has lived in Surrey Quays for more than fifty years, but is no longer able to get out of her flat by herself.
After hanging out with Francis for a few months, Lizzie began to bring her partner Kate (45) along to the visits. They got along so well that Kate signed herself up to the Love Your Neighbour programme, so that she could visit Francis on her own.
Since then, the trio have spent more than 200 hours together. They’ve celebrated birthdays, had dinner together and met one another’s families. Most of the time, they hang out in Francis’ flat for a chat and a cup of tea, but they’ve also been out and about exploring their local area together, with Francis often marvelling about how much has changed. They enjoy watching the dogs and the birds in their local park and going for walks by the river. Francis is a keen knitter, so Lizzie and Kate have brought her shopping for some new wool. They’ve even been to McDonalds, which is Francis’s favourite!
Lizzie (38) and Kate (45) on their friend Francis
“She’s ever so amusing; she’s got some brilliant stories which have had us in stitches of laughter. We always ask her to tell them again! We’ve learnt lots about her life, about London and about living through the war. We tell her about our jobs and about friends and she seems to really enjoy hearing about those things too. Usually we visit her at home, but sometimes we go out and about. We took her to Frankie and Benny’s - we’ve never seen a woman love a slice of margherita pizza so much! Visiting Francis really takes you out of your bubble. It’s given us a different perspective on ageing and has been a really positive experience in our lives”
Francis (97) on her friends Lizzie and Kate
“I really like Lizzie and Kate; they’re very chatty and kind. I love it when they visit and we have a good laugh. They ask all about my history and we chat about the old days. They’ve helped me to access things that I wouldn’t be able to otherwise. They took me to a café in the park that I didn’t even know was there, so that was really nice. Their friendship has made a big difference to me and I miss them when they’re on holiday all around the world. They’re married now, so I’ve told them I want to be their godchild!”
Our Love Your Neighbour programme matches older and younger neighbours in Southwark and Lambeth for one-to-one friendships. Find out more and sign up here.
Posted by Eleanor Younge on Monday 27th January 2020
Eleanor leads on our Love Your Neighbour programme in Southwark, connecting younger and older neighbours one-to-one for weekly visits and longterm friendship. Previously Eleanor worked for an international development charity in Ireland.