Trish joined Liverpool Cares in the spring of 2021, becoming a familiar and friendly face at our Social Clubs – attending 25 in total so far – and also becoming matched with the brilliant Gabriella as part of Love Your Neighbour. Since getting matched in October 2021 the pair have shared 30 hours of conversation and time; exploring their local area, catching up over tea, and experiencing new things together. We wanted to hear more about Trish’s time with her fellow neighbours at Liverpool Cares, and reflect on the impact getting involved with our programmes has had. Keep on reading for a wonderful snapshot of her experience so far!
I was referred by The Reader during the pandemic, I had become very isolated as I hadn’t formed a ‘bubble’, so it was my opportunity to reconnect with people and make new friends, to make steps out of the pandemic and rebuild social life – that’s why I got involved! It gave me the hope that there can be a future, as before I was very lonely and isolated. Initially, it was difficult to make connections at social clubs as Covid was worrying me but once I got over that initial anxiety I felt safe as Liverpool Cares prioritises keeping us well and healthy in the spaces they use. I felt anxiety in the beginning but the support from the team and other neighbours helped me take those steps.
It impacts my life as now I have things to look forward to, and for me to socialise with people who I don’t know. To have good conversations and make friends. Liverpool Cares is very caring, and the younger and older generation are connecting and caring about each other. Liverpool Cares is that hope, and I know if something is bothering me Liverpool Cares will be able to point me in a direction that will be a benefit to me. Liverpool Cares brings me a life.
My lovely younger neighbour Gabriella! I think Liverpool Cares have matched us up perfectly; we have very similar personalities, both very caring people. She is younger than me and brings out the younger side of myself that I sometimes forget is still there. We have a lot in common and do activities together, we talk a lot and share our words of wisdom. Gabriella is not a Liverpool lass and for her, it is a connection with people in her neighbourhood. From a younger neighbour point of view, she brings a cheeky and jokey side out of me that I forgot I had. It is an opportunity to think about what I would say to my younger self and share those lessons.
I can actually be me with Gabriella. She actually took me to see an exhibition at Liverpool Anglican Catherdral, I would never have gone to anything see anything like that if I wasn’t encouraged by Gabriella. She stops me from being a grumpy old lady!
She is like a little unexpected angel. Gabriella is an adventurer, she is one of the nicest people I have ever met and at such a young age as well. How can I say, an absolute joy! A genuine friend. Sometimes in life we have friends and they come and go but Gabriella is a bundle of joy and everything from Gabriella is at a pace I am comfortable with and she understands what I am ready for. I look forward to seeing her.
Being connected to Liverpool Cares was the best thing that could have ever happened to me and I mean that genuinely. The more Liverpool Cares is out there, there are fewer people feeling how I was - lonely, isolated, and lacking hope. Liverpool Cares has changed everything! There has not been one activity I haven’t enjoyed, not one member of the team that isn’t a lovely person and that’s rare!
We love sharing stories just like Trish’s, and hearing from our neigbours about the friends they’ve made and experiences they’ve had as a part of Liverpool Cares. If you’d like to get involved with our Love Your Neighbour programme, or know someone who you think would like to know more, please contact [email protected]
Posted by Alice Taylor on Thursday 28th April 2022
Alice Taylor is the Love Your Neighbour coordinator for Liverpool Cares. She manages our one-to-one friendship matching programme.