"I was at quite a low ebb and was referred to Independent Age’s Reconnections service, which paired me with a local volunteer named Luke. Luke is 21, so there is an age gap of more than 60 years between us. At first, I thought that could be a problem, but he had a magical way of making me feel young again. He was studying psychology at university and, I soon discovered, was a keen football fan, like me.
Every Wednesday, I’d meet him off the tram and we’d go and have a coffee together. Our sessions lasted about two hours and made a lot of difference to my mental health. Seeing Luke meant I had a reason to get out of the house. I spend nearly all my time in my living room, and I find myself staring out the window, counting the bricks on my neighbour’s wall. If you’re not careful, you can drift from one day to the next, and that can be quite frightening."