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"Without the Fund I'd spend all day on my own"

RAF veteran Reg Lawrence thoroughly enjoys his weekly chats with his friends on the Fund's Telephone Friendship Group. Now as the country is locked down and vulnerable elderly residents are shielded from COVID-19, he values the contact more than ever.

The Fund has supported 87-year-old Reg Lawrence, who served in the RAF from 1951 to 1954, in a number of ways. Reg is a proud user of the Fund's Telephone Friendship Group service, which helps older people experiencing social isolation and loneliness. It does so by providing access to peer support and friendship through a weekly phone call at a set time, all from the comfort of their own home.

Decades of Support featuring RAF veteran Reg Lawrence

He said the service provides a lifeline for him as the complex he lives in has been locked down. Residents are not allowed to leave and no visitors are permitted to keep them all shielded from COVID-19. Reg explained: "Without the Fund I'd spend all day on my own. I live day to day, I have not left this flat other than to go out in the grounds for the last five weeks.

"I really look forward to the calls. Whatever we talk about we always have a lot of laughter. I also got a call from Princess Marina House as I was due to visit there soon. Anne keeps in touch once a week and we have a chat. It makes a real difference."

The Fund has also supported Reg by providing him with a number of mobility aids, such as a scooter and a recliner riser chair, both of which allow him to be more comfortable and independent in his day-to-day life.

Reg said: "I am alone now, no family no children or anything like that, and I just needed someone to talk to. I look forward to my weekly calls and I wouldn't miss them for the world. I get a great deal of satisfaction from them and look forward to the conversation.

"Each one of us has a story to tell in one way or another. We talk about all kinds of things from travel to service life, to politics and what's in the news.

"I would be most disappointed if it ever were to end."

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