Diary of a Love Your Neighbour friendship

Ruth Alvaro Introvisit

It’s not always easy to capture what a 1-2-1 ‘Love Your Neighbour’ friendship match looks like which is why our volunteer call and visit logs are indispensable. When a younger neighbour is matched with an older neighbour, they become our eyes and ears as they will be getting to know them on a deeper level and building a friendship. Our role is to cheer them on from the sidelines and step in if any support is required from either neighbour along the way.

Ruth (85) and Alvaro (31) met early this year and hit it off immediately and although their match was a short one it had an impact on both .Alvaro moved back to Spain a few months later and they are making efforts to keep in touch.

Here’s a little insight into some of their match visits together taken from Alvaro visit logs :

Breaking the Ice

“ We had a great visit ! We shared tea and talked about some of Ruth's friends and my work at The Alan Turing Institute. Sadly, Malcom (the cat) did not want to play ….Ruth is lovely and has an incredible sense of humour! “

Getting to know each other

“We discussed some of her trips and adventures from when she was younger, We also checked her Facebook, she is pretty active on it! We discussed that next time I would try to help her to set up the printer, as she said that it was not working. Let's see if I can help with that “

“ We discussed so many different topics and exchanged some recommendations. Ruth made me aware of an amazing Greek restaurant (Lemonia) which I tried on Saturday with my friends (spoiler: incredible moussaka indeed). I recommended Ruth a BBC series called "Philomena Cunk - Cunk in Britain". Very special humour about British history (I think she also liked it). Malcom, the cat, finally greeted me and jumped around the kitchen cupboards”

Malcom Ruth

Keeping us in the loop

Thanks to Alvaro letting us know about Ruth dental concerns, we checked in on her and were able to signpost her for some dental support.

“Ruth was not feeling so great this time, she seems to have a loose tooth that bothers her when eating. She also had a little bit of earache. We spoke of many things anyway and I think she cheered up a little bit. I have written her an email today and let's see how the weekend goes. I will try to visit her next week as well and see how is she doing with that tooth. Maybe I keep you updated during the next days just in case we can help her somehow? Thanks a lot!"

Honesty is the best policy

We spoke with Alvaro about how to share his news with Ruth as it can sometimes seem tricky for neighbours to do so and following the news from Alvaro we checked in with Ruth to see how she was feeling. We are always on hand to help with any difficult conversations between neighbours.

“Ruth was much better, although her tooth was still a bit loose. She will see a dentist soon hopefully

I told her I was leaving because I got a nice job opportunity back in Spain. She told me that this was sad news, but she was at the same time very happy for me.

Malcolm is now very comfortable with me around and he says hello every time I visit. He also jumps around the kitchen -quite a spectacle!

We also set up Ruths phone and email, because we are going to try to get her using video-calls, so we can go for them once I am back in Spain. It worked nicely, but next time I will try to show her how to do video-calls.

Next time we will celebrate and say goodbye by ordering a moussaka from Lemonia, one of the best memories of Ruth in London"

Saying Goodbye is never easy

For their last visit together, Alvaro ordered a meal (using the Love Your Neighbour Match budget of course) to share together with Ruth.

“This was my last visit to Ruth before going back to Spain ., we had dinner from Lemonia, the restaurant that she had recommended with the amazing moussaka - I went to the restaurant, ordered a couple of moussakas and baklava and then went to Ruth house to have it

Dinner was great (Ruth was right, one of the best moussakas I have ever tried). Baklava was too sweet for Ruth, but its okay, as I had it all and nothing is ever too sweet for me!

Malcolm was hanging around and we spoke about our short but really nice time together. We will keep on writing each other by email and if Ruth ever learns to do video-calls, we will do that as well in the future. Of course, I will visit London again, and I will for sure visit her every single time I set a foot in the city :)

It was such an amazing experience... knowing Ruth has been one of the best things London has offered me. Thanks so much for that!"