Christmas can be a hard time of year for many people, and the cost-of-living crisis is likely to see an increase in loneliness and social isolation.
Which is why we are asking you to support our Christmas appeal by giving the gift of friendship to someone in the Brighton and Hove community.
Many of our volunteers and scheme members, like David McDermott and Danny Phee, go on to form strong and lasting bonds which bring them a lot of joy and happiness.
Volunteer David, 64, and scheme member Danny, 69, were brought together by their shared love of Celtic football team and their Scottish background.
Their story is a powerful one and every donation we receive, no matter how small, helps us to create those life-changing connections.
“My first match was with Peter but sadly he passed away at the beginning of the pandemic. I wasn’t sure I wanted another match so soon after but Together Co contacted me and said ‘I think you should meet Danny, I think you will be a good match’.
“He’s not much older than me and we were brought up in a similar area in Scotland so we share a lot of common and cultural experiences. We both support Celtic so we had a lot of common ground already.
“During the pandemic, I would phone Danny up, speak to him and drop shopping off at his doorstep. When restrictions eased I would stand about three metres away and have a chat.
“He was really scared. He would not go out and it took him a long time to build up the confidence to do that again. “
“At the moment, I see Danny twice a week and we watch the football together. We make each other laugh and I feel like I have genuinely met a true friend.
“I’ll be taking him a Christmas dinner and a present on Christmas Day and making sure he’s not alone.
“I don’t think everyone understands the gut-wrenching awfulness of what it is like to feel lonely and isolated.
“Its impact can be devastating. It is something which isn’t given the attention it deserves so I want to help as much as I can.
“Danny always asks about me. He has the gift of enquiry and shows a genuine interest in other people.
“He has also started to take more pride in his home and personal appearance which has been great to see.”
“We got on like a house on fire as soon as we met because he’s Scottish and we support the same football team.
“At first, we were just chatting on the phone. It was really good meeting face to face, he’s a really funny guy, nice and cheery.
“We watch the football together and he takes me shopping which is good because it means I can get out.
“He’s a family man and I like that; family comes first. I have met his wife and daughter and they are lovely. I would like to think I am an extended part of the family.
“David is someone I can trust and someone I can talk to as well. Any time I need him he’s always there. I do not know what I would do without his friendship.
“He is the best match Together Co could have found me. It has just been great. I have found a friend for life.”
You Make a Difference
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our volunteers, scheme members, supporters, trustees and staff for everything over the past year. We couldn’t reach as many people as we do without your help.
If you would like to donate to our Christmas Appeal you can do so by clicking the button below.
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© 2019 Together Collective a Company Limited by Guarantee registered in England and Wales: Company No. 03895574, whose registered office is Projects The Lanes, Nile House, Nile St, Brighton BN1 1HW. Together Collective is a registered charity: Charity No. 1083390