Frances and Beth

"We are the best of friends, that's how I feel about her." Frances, 102

Beth and Frances have only been friends for 5 weeks, but even in that short amount of time it is clear a strong friendship has developed. Frances says “I feel like I can trust Beth with anything. I feel like I have known her forever.” 

With an Agatha Christie novel open on the coffee table I can see that I have interrupted something good. Upon apologising, Frances exclaims “I am sorry too – it’s just getting to an interesting bit!”

A difficulty with her vision was what sparked Frances and her nephew to approach LinkAge about the befriending scheme. Frances has trouble reading letters, and often struggles to watch the TV. “When my letters come, I can’t read them,” she says. “I just sit here – I can’t even see the TV because it’s misty.”

Frances was matched with Beth – a volunteer with the scheme – and their friendship began. Beth visits Frances every Friday for one hour in her home. They spend their time chatting, and, with a shared love of crime novels, a top priority is reading. “I used to read three detective books a week!” says Frances. 

It’s clear that Friday mornings are a highlight for both ladies. “We get on really well, and we have a similar temperament. We look at things positively and chat about our lives” says Beth. “And, of course we both have a passion for reading” she adds with a smile.

Beth explains that since the age of 18 she has worked closely with people of different generations and backgrounds, but her more recent roles have lacked this. “I have missed the relationship that you can have with people of different generations, the different things you can learn from each other, and teach each other.”

When asked to explain the impact being involved has had on her life, she says “It has enriched my life. Like Frances, I look forward to Fridays and I always come away upbeat and happy.”