“Skin colour doesn’t matter,” says Patsy. “We are family, we are sisters.”


On paper, Patsy and Molly couldn’t be more different. Patsy, 83, is a great-grandmother with a big family who came to London from Jamaica in 2015. “I miss the sun, and being able to leave my door open,” she says. Sadly Patsy has lymphedema, and can rarely leave the flat where she now lives. Molly, 25, moved from Derby to the capital to work in politics: she loves its fast pace and buzz.


“I like meeting and talking to people from all backgrounds, and I’d been looking for a volunteering opportunity,” explains Molly. “We were first paired up by Link Age Southwark just before the Covid-19 pandemic, which meant our first contact was chatting by phone. Then, it was great when we were able to meet face to face for the first time.”


"I took to her immediately. I can talk to her about anything,” says Patsy.  “It means a lot, because I don’t have anyone coming to talk especially to me. I’ve got to know all about her, especially her cat Piper. I appreciate her coming to see me. She’s even introduced me to her mum and dad, and we’ve talked on the phone. I keep an eye on her for them! And there’s Molly’s Chicken recipe. My daughter cooks it, and we’ve called it Molly’s Chicken because she loves it so much -- sometimes she doesn’t bother to use a fork!”


"Patsy makes me feel like I’m part of her family here in London. I love hearing her stories: I’ve learned a lot from her about Jamaica and its culture,” says Molly. “And she has such a great energy, she’s so funny. We laugh together: my favourite story is when Patsy was a teenager in Jamaica and her skirt got caught on a wire fence when she and friends had gone to pick mangos! She’s always so upbeat and smiley, and I hope I’m still that positive when I’m her age.


“I was very close to grandparents in Derby but most of the people I see now are my age, and in big cities there can sometimes be a divide between old and young. Visiting Patsy is like going to see my grandma. You never know where you’re going to make a new friend.”