This month Manchester Cares is celebrating our 4th birthday and we are also celebrating making our 100th Love Your Neighbour introduction. From our first introduction back in 2018 in Moston to our newest in Withington, through Love Your Neighbour, older and younger neighbours have collectively shared over 3000 visits and over 124 days of interaction across our wonderful city and we certainly think that is something to celebrate.
Love Your Neighbour is our one-to-one friendship programme. Where pals share time, laughter, and joy together over the phone, in-person, or a mix of both. We aim to create genuine, long-lasting friendships and each friendship is unique and different. Some neighbours head out to explore Manchester’s coffee shops and museums (like Roy and Kate); while others come along to our Social Clubs together. Some pairs stay in watching their favourite TV shows or try out a craft together, while others enjoy a brew and natter, just like Jess and Mary.
"Jess is lovely, she really is a lovely girl, very very nice. We seem to sit and yap, and before you know it, she's been here for almost two hours".
Mary and Jess were only introduced in Autumn this year and have already had ten visits. They enjoy comparing old family photographs and eating takeaways together, and as Mary shares above the new pals are never short of things to chat about with a brew and tasty treats.
Love Your Neighbour is a mutual friendship programme and it's not just our older neighbours who get something out of it. As Kate shares, many younger neighbours enjoy the benefits of a new friend too!
“Throughout all the unexpected circumstances of COVID, the Love Your Neighbours programme has been a constant source of joy! I feel that our friendship has blossomed as a result of our weekly phone calls. We regularly chat about all kinds of things, but it is our mutual love of the arts - books, theatre, music and dance - that really connects us. It has been so wonderful to be able to share recommendations for things to watch, read, and listen to with one another. Roy has genuinely brightened my weeks so much with his enthusiasm and always interesting conversation - we always manage to have a chuckle about something, even when discussing very serious topics!”
Roy and Kate were introduced in early 2020 and so had only met a few times before March 2020 lockdown, they have since visited one of Manchester’s hidden gems, the historic Fairfield Moravian Settlement, established in 1785 and Manchester Art Gallery together.
If you’ve enjoyed reading these stories and would like to get involved, make a referral or simply hear more about the programme, please sign up here or chat with Vicky or Izzy on 0161 207 0800.
Posted by Vicky Harrold on Saturday 20th November 2021
Vicky is Manchester Cares' Programme Coordinator managing our Love Your Neighbour programme.