Age UK North Tyneside - I would say now, just ask! It’s those little things that make such a difference in your life

Mon 13 Jun 2022

The Age UK North Tyneside Group was established in 1972 as a registered charity, became a Company Limited by Guarantee in 1987 and is a Brand Partner of the Age UK national Charity (i.e. a Brand Partner is a number of independent Charities which share the same name, values and standards). The organisation has grown to become the largest local voluntary organisation in the borough, with a turnover of circa. £5.5m, 250+ staff and 135+ volunteers providing a wide range of services in response to the local situation and needs of older people in North Tyneside.


Ada and Caroline

Ada is a very friendly, gregarious lady who is 92 years of age and lives in Backworth. Before she retired to care for her husband, Ada was an independent book-keeper for several businesses in North Tyneside. She was a passionate crafter knitting, embroidering and sewing until she was no longer able to due to declining vision.

Ada lives alone and has reduced mobility. Family and friends do live nearby, but Ada is often frustrated that she can’t go anywhere in that moment when she would like to put on a coat and just go out. Luckily she is extremely competent with technology. She has a smart TV and uses Alexa to access music, programmes and information Following a series of falls in 2019 Ada requested a volunteer befriender to visit her on a weekly basis at home. Trying hard to be stoic, when Ada first made the request she said sometimes she was “really frustrated with the four walls.”

When Age UK North Tyneside’s Befriending Co-ordinator Beverley Swan first met Ada she said “I haven’t been out of the street on my own for the past five years”

The Befriending team introduced Ada to volunteer befriender Caroline in October 2019 and they’ve been firm friends ever since. On the second anniversary of their friendship, Ada and Caroline wanted to share their story to highlight the benefits for everyone concerned and to encourage others to consider befriending.

Ada said “We have a laugh together every week, Caroline is lovely. Good company is important. That’s what you want when you can’t get out.” 

Caroline said “I look forward to visiting. Ada is really entertaining and makes me giggle!” 

Caroline said to Ada “I love learning about your memories of local places in their heyday, it’s really interesting. I also love that you’re fiercely independent and determined to be positive every day.” 

Ada remembers how she felt in 2019 when it was hard to ask for help for the first time and said “I would say now, just ask! It’s those little things that make such a difference in your life, someone coming in to see you.”

Caroline has volunteered as a Befriender with Age UK North Tyneside for 5 years and fits this around her family life. She said “Visiting Ada is a welcome change of pace in my day, it’s a quiet moment in a busy week and a really nice thing to do.”

Ada said “Caroline’s a canny lass. I’ve already bought Caroline a present for Christmas. I know I don’t need to but I have anyway.”

Ada wanted to share a funny story, typical of the ones which make Caroline giggle. “I was in bed and asked Alexa to turn out the light for the evening, and Alexa started going on and on about lighthouses!” Ada said “Alexa’s not that clever you know.”

If you are interested in Age UK North Tyneside’s Befriending or Telephone Befriending Services, give us a call on 0191 280 8484 Option 0 or email


By: Age UK North Tyneside

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