Pals Anne and Trish first met at one of our Social Clubs, a Pub Quiz, just before the pandemic hit. Anne said that after the quiz “we were stood outside the pub for ages, we seemed to just click”. As they got on so well, they went on to be matched in April 2020 on our 121 friendship programme, Love Your Neighbour. Since then, the pair have had 24 meetups and calls, as well as regularly joining in with our Social Clubs, and have developed a really special friendship. Here they are at our 'Coffee Tasting and Talk' at the wonderful Ancoats Coffee Co.
Throughout the uncertainty of the past year and a half, Anne and Trish have been there for each other, only a phone call or Zoom chat away. Trish (30) told us “I feel like the Love Your Neighbour programme has not only given me someone to talk to throughout the pandemic, but has also given me a friend for life!”, while Anne (71) described her match and learning how to use Zoom as “the best things to come out of lockdown” and said "when we get on the phone we chat for ages, I lose track of time".
Over the festive period last year, the pair found a new, creative way to stay connected through their shared love of art and photography. They had the wonderful idea of using some of their Love Your Neighbour match budget on disposable cameras, to document their Christmas and New Year breaks and compare photos afterwards.
This year the friends have been able to meet up face to face again a few times, and have enjoyed catching up over food and brews at some of their favourite city centre spots - Hip Hop Chip Shop and Koffee Pot. Trish told us they are never short of conversation; “I feel like we always have something to talk about and update each other on. I particularly love talking about film, TV, music and books with Anne - she has great taste!” With the support of Trish, Anne has felt encouraged to make her own art, and they went to see some of Anne’s photography on display at Angel Meadows together. "She's given me confidence to do things I never thought I'd be able to do, like art - it’s nice to get someone else’s opinion, a younger person."
As well as all their creative pursuits, Anne and Trish are both football fans, and this month, they had the opportunity to watch a match at Old Trafford, thanks to some free tickets kindly gifted by Manchester United. Anne, a lifelong United supporter, told us about how she used to go to all the matches in the sixties with a friend, and hadn’t been for years, so was really looking forward to going with Trish. Afterwards she said the match was “brilliant” and was very pleased that United won 1-0. Trish has recently got into football and relished the chance to go along and experience a game with her pal. Anne even knitted a red scarf and hat specially!
The pair continue to inspire and motivate each other; Trish said Anne “...has an incredible energy and outlook on life – she’s my reminder to live life to the full and to explore new opportunities that come my way.” Anne told us "I can see me and Trish being friends for a long time", and she gave Trish a lovely present for her last birthday - a magnet that read 'some friends are forever'. Here’s to many more years of friendship for Anne and Trish!
Posted by Izzy Zimšek on Monday 20th December 2021
Love Your Neighbour Programme Coordinator