Jim (88) and Becky (23) met through our Love Your Neighbour programme, which introduces younger and older neighbours one-to-one for company, conversation and laughter. A few months in we caught up with Jim and Becky to reflect on their journey to what they describe as “a proper friendship”.
I really value relationships and how they have the ability to make me feel more connected to my local area. As I am not from Manchester I hoped a new friendship with one of my older neighbours might do just that.
Over the last couple of months I have loved getting to know Jim, he genuinely makes my weeks better. I really look forward to seeing him and learning about his wonderful life. We have hung out over a brew, discovered the wonders of Amazon Prime, boogied to the Beatles at Desert Island Discs, chatted all things Manchester (and Liverpool), and we are currently planning a trip to an arts festival together.
Even though there are 65 years between us, our outlook and attitude to life is really similar and it’s so inspirational for me to get to know someone who has lived their life with such similar morals and principles to my own. Through our friendship I have also gained a whole new perspective on my life and felt supported, which is so powerful when it comes to life decisions.
I hoped to find a friend and I have. It feels just like a proper friendship, but it is also so much more than that. Jim is an absolute star and I am really looking forward to continuing our journey, getting out and about together and feeling connected to our community.
For me Manchester Cares is such an exciting project, bringing together vibrant young professionals with retired and – in my opinion – the slightly less vibrant older generation. It is a truly inspirational concept. And of course I am delighted to be a small part of such a wonderful project.
And when it comes to Becky, what can I say? It has been a joy getting to know her. Becky is an absolutely lovely person in every particular way. Warm, generous, friendly, natural: no fear of embarrassment or awkwardness just openness and honesty. We have managed even to find some quite common ground.
Through our growing friendship we have shared nerves before an interview for BBC Radio, excitement when a book we ordered arrived the next day, and love for our favourite city, Liverpool – sorry Manchester!
It is a true privilege to have Becky as a friend.
If you've been inspired by Jim and Becky and would like to get to know one of your neighbours, just like Jim and Becky, sign up to attend one of our inductions here – don’t be shy!
Posted by Vicky Harrold on Tuesday 11th September 2018
Vicky is Manchester Cares' Programme Coordinator managing our Love Your Neighbour programme.