”When they brought Kila to meet me and she started telling me about her work, and having her own company, I perked up straight away. I thought: ‘She’s going to be interesting!’”

Paula, 87, lost her wife Carly after 27 years together. She also recently broke both her hips and wrists.

 “I live on my own and I don’t have any family close by apart from a sister, but she is quite poorly and can’t get out. I’d been sitting here and we’d had all that rotten rain – you couldn’t go out, and I was going down into a depression.”

Fellow Peckham residents Paula and Kila, a 38 year old creative director working in event and set design, have only been a Link Age Southwark befriending pair for a few months, but really look forward to their weekly meetings.

“Kila brings her dog, Link, and he is lovely – the same colour as the dog I had. He starts jumping around and we start throwing the ball and laughing and we just get talking. It’s lovely,” Paula explains.

“I enjoy Paula’s stories,” says Kila. “She is a great character who has had so many different jobs over the years – a driver in the army during the war, nursing, hairdressing, she’s sold houses in Spain – I can’t remember them all! I always come away thinking ‘Wow I’ve learned so much’. It’s just really nice company.”

“You’re not sitting here thinking of nothing. It brightens your mind, it takes me out of myself and I’m a lot better now than when she first came,” says Paula. “One day we might be able to go for a walk together. I’ll get myself better for that – it’s something to work towards,”. 


Kila studied illustration, and they’re also planning to do some painting together. 

“It makes me feel more connected to my local community, which can be quite hard to do if you are always busy,” says Kila. “It’s a new and different type of friendship: I feel like we’re kindred spirits.”