After a career in nursing, Colleen was keen to remain active in retirement. Colleen explains: "I was a nurse and was coming up to retiring. I made up my mind that I was going to keep active and to give something back to the community." That was 11 years ago, and Colleen, a resident of Dulwich, has been a longstanding volunteer with Link Age Southwark ever since. This includes a number of roles such as volunteering at group sessions and befriending service users. Colleen says: "I enjoy the interaction with the group and with befriending. I like talking to people."

Evelyn, who lives in Peckham, found out about Link Age Southwark last year through a health worker and was matched with Colleen for befriending. It’s a befriending relationship that has gone from strength to strength. Colleen says: "I enjoy befriending very much. We get on well. We talk about things like food, politics and the old times."

"I made up my mind that I was going to keep active and to give something back to the community"

As well as befriending, Colleen is an active volunteer at the Silver Trees group run by Link Age Southwark. As a result, she was able to introduce Evelyn to the group sessions. Evelyn speaks highly of the sessions, and explains: "We do art some weeks and exercises in a chair other weeks. I like to get involved. I enjoy it."

Colleen adds: "We have a good time and Evelyn has made friends at the group." In March of this year, the lockdown was put in place, but the pair were undeterred by this. Evelyn explains: "Colleen has been very good and consistent, coming to visit me every week. Since Covid she has stayed in touch on the phone."