People tend to gravitate towards those who are similar to themselves when forming friendships with others. We may look for ourselves in other people because it seems easier — if we’re the same age, we have similar life experiences, have grown up around the same scenery, we’ll probably have more in common to talk about, right?
Wrong! It’s only once you step out of that generational comfort zone, that you find there’s a whole new world of joy to be had – and that’s what Liverpool Cares brings to people.
“I was a little bit nervous at the start, but we just laugh about that now!” Lorna, who’s 34 years old, is part of our Phone A Friend programme, which matches an older and younger neighbour to talk over the phone. She has been chatting regularly to 92-year-old Jean for the last seven months. Lorna admits that growing up she was very close with her nan, and after her passing there was a big gap in her life. “I suppose I joined Liverpool Cares for those personal reasons, but it’s just like we’re proper friends now”, she tells us. “I really look forward to talking to Jean, telling her about my week and hearing about hers. People ask if I ever forget to call her, but I could never forget, I look forward to it so much!”
And Jean clearly feels the same, telling us “We just hit it off! Age doesn’t seem to be any issue with me and Lorna, the generation gap, although it’s a big gap, doesn’t make any difference. I feel like I’ve known her forever.” They talk about everything, from the city they both live in and love, what kind of TV shows they’ve been watching, how their week has been and current issues and affairs.
After a few months of talking on the phone, Jean and Lorna began to attend some Virtual Social Clubs together, regularly coming along to Desert Island Discs to listen to music and chat with other neighbours. “I really look forward to it,” Jean explains, “Lorna books us a place and then we get together on the phone to talk about what song we’re going to pick to request, and why”. Their friendship has led to them both being a little more social during the pandemic, having something to look forward to and giving things a go that they wouldn’t normally try.
Lorna sums it up, “We have loads to learn from each other. It’s nice to get a different perspective on things, it’s a whole new viewpoint from the conversations I have with my other friends.”
Lorna and Jean prove that intergenerational friendships aren’t just about tackling loneliness, they’re about laughter, learning and true togetherness. This #intergenerationalweek, we’re inviting you to see for yourself. Sign up to one of our programmes today.
Posted by Abbie Beckett on Monday 8th March 2021
Abbie leads the Social Clubs programme at Liverpool Cares.