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"The telephone friendship groups really have changed my life"

For Margaret Peckham, life changed when her husband, best friend and soulmate, David, passed away in 2014. After 60 years of marriage, Margaret was living alone for the first time in her life, with very little interaction or human contact with others, which we so often take for granted, until it is gone.

The pair met at a dance in Hastings when Margaret was 20 years old and for her, it was love at first sight. At the dance, Margaret confessed to her friend that she had met the man that she would marry and just four months later the pair walked down the aisle.

David joined the RAF as an apprentice aged just 16, and went on to become a Sergeant.

Margaret and David on their wedding day

It is this service history, which means Margaret was eligible for support from the Fund.

Margaret, who lives in Worthing, is now a regular visitor at our respite home, Princess Marina House, where she uses the Lunch Club service. She has most recently joined one of the Fund's telephone friendship groups, which allows members to connect over the phone once a week, at a set time, all from the comfort of their home.

Margaret says: "When my husband died it was very difficult because I'd had him for so long, all my life, I'd had somebody. I moved straight from my parents' house into our marital home, so I'd never lived on my own before David passed away.

"The hardest thing about living on your own after 60 years of marriage is not having anything to discuss with anyone and not being able to talk about your day when you've come to the evening and you want to chat.

"The telephone friendship groups really have changed my life. I've got something to look forward to every week. You meet so many interesting people with stories to tell.

"The future's now looking brighter."

If you know of someone who might be in need of some help, please do get in touch. For more information, please call 0800 169 2942 or visit our website at www.rafbf.org/help.

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