Eric was in his 90s and had recently experienced some health issues and given up driving when we met. The combination of these events had left him feeling isolated and lacking in confidence, even though he remained remarkably independent.

Initially he was interested in coming along to events that Circles in Doncaster were arranging. He expressed interest in joining a choir, so we found one close by to him. He hadn’t been matched with a volunteer, so we asked if any of our volunteers would like to accompany Eric to begin with, just while his confidence grew.

Isabelle, lives near Eric and, although she was already matched someone else, was more than happy to join Eric on his first few visits. Eric rapidly made friends at the choir and it wasn’t long before one of the members offered to bring Eric to and from the choir each week. Isabelle took a step back and Eric has carried on making new friends and is supported by other choir members to ensure that he continues to be able to attend.

Through his new friends he has also been introduced to a music night at a nearby pub and goes there every week now as well. This allows him to indulge his love of dancing with even more new friends, which was something else he said he missed doing. He is now even teaching some of the younger ones at the pub how to jive!

Eric is a great example of where a very little bit of involvement from us kick-started a new phase of Eric’s life. Now with the help of his own community, Eric’s social life is flourishing!

Marie McClay, Age UK, Doncaster