“What Nicky and I have is pure friendship”
Nicky, 56, and Mike, 73, both signed up for Brunelcare’s Friends on the Phone initiative, launched at the beginning of the pandemic, in a bid to combat loneliness for Brunelcare residents and tenants.
Nicky, an Occupational Therapist/Mental Health Practitioner, volunteered to be part of the initiative and Mike, who lives at one of Brunelcare’s sheltered housing sites, were randomly partnered up, as volunteer befriender and befriendee in April 2020, nearly two-years later, the pair are still in contact and the have now become great friends!
Nicky said: “I volunteered to be a Friend on the Phone to a resident or tenant at Brunelcare in early 2020. I thought it was a lovely thing to do and could be beneficial for both myself and my befriendee. I was excited to start a new friendship with someone, and I couldn’t have imagined that I could meet someone who would grow to become so special to me. The conversation always feels very natural with Mike, there are no awkward silences and it never feels forced. It’s very much a two-way street; it isn’t just me befriending him, he has befriended me too.”
Mike said: “I thoroughly enjoy talking to Nicky, we have very similar interests and have lots of friends in common too! What Nicky and I have is pure friendship, I really enjoy speaking with her and spending time with her. I have met her husband and we have all been out for meals together, it’s great fun!”
The pair, who only live a quarter of a mile away from each other, have met up several times at the pub, have been out on walks and also to restaurants too!
Emma Gwynne, Volunteers Manager at Brunelcare said: “It’s great that lasting friendships have been made from the initiatives we launched during the pandemic, it’s so lovely to see who volunteering can bring people together. Mike and Nicky are just fab and I’m sure they’re going to be lifelong friends. We run lots of volunteering initiatives at Brunelcare and are always looking for more people to get involved!”
To find out more about volunteering at Brunelcare visit: www.brunelcare.org.uk/get-involved/volunteering.