Single mum regularly visits ‘grumpy’ pensioner who’s lonely and the pair are now best friends

Despite a 41-year age gap, these two are practically BFFs (Picture: PA Real Life/Brightlife)

Did you know that loneliness may be as damaging to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day?

That’s the fact that made one mum spring into action.

Mandy Yasities, 33, a former business development manager, knew how acutely loneliness could affect people’s physical and mental wellbeing.

After she lost her mum at 19 and her dad in 2003, Mandy joined a befriending scheme and was introduced to former trucker David Carter, 74.

Mum-of-one Mandy, from Cheshire, soon hit it off with ‘grump’ David, who could not go out because of health problems.

Mandy is now unable to work due her own health issues and so having a friend in David has meant the world to her.

Now a regular visitor at David’s, she loves popping in for a cuppa and a natter.

‘We have such a laugh together… when he’s able to hear me!’ she jokes. ‘He had a reputation for being a bit of a grump, but we just hit it off straight away and I don’t see that side to him.

‘I really took to him and he calls me, “my Mandy”.

‘He was so down in the dumps when I first met him, but the difference in him now is amazing, in just six months.

‘I think he is a bit of a father figure to me. I’ve lost my parents, so I have felt that loneliness myself and he’s someone I can look up to.’

Mandy sees David as a bit of a father figure after having lost her own parents (Picture: PA Real Life/Brightlife)

After being diagnosed with postural tachycardia syndrome (PoTs), an abnormal increase in heart rate, and an unknown allergy which leaves her at risk of suffering severe anaphylactic shock, Mandy started to look into volunteering.

Finding the Buddying and Befriending scheme, which is part of the charity Changing Lives Together, she was keen to join.

Visiting David weekly for six months, Mandy also phones in between to check he is okay.

‘David has some physical health problems, including ulcers on his legs, which makes it very difficult for him to get out of the house, so he would go for days without speaking to anyone but his carer before we met,’ she explains.

He has an African parakeet whose company Mandy also enjoys.

Mandy, who adds that she does also have friends her own age, said: ‘We get on so well, despite the age difference. We just sit and have a cup of tea and his parakeet, Eddie, will start chatting and wolf-whistling, or shushing us.

‘We talk about all sorts of things – what he’s done over the years, his life as a lorry driver, or horse racing.

‘It’s nice to hear what life used to be like for him and for him to tell me about the past.’

‘It makes a difference to my soul’ (Picture: PA Real Life/Brightlife)

Mandy is also able to help organise appointments for David, getting a barber to come and give him a haircut and she feels her visits have made a real difference.

Though she couldn’t spend Christmas with him, she still checked up on him.

With no family left and suffering with his health, Mandy’s visits are all the more important for David.

He explained: ‘It’s changed my life. Someone coming and having a natter has made such a difference.

‘I’d not had anybody come to see me for ages and I’ve been pretty much housebound for two years because of health problems.

‘I was very lonely, as nobody would come to see me, but Mandy makes me feel better. She understands a lot of things, so we’ll have a cup of tea and a chat.

‘It’s something for me to look forward to.’

He continued: ‘We have a nice time laughing and joking talking about whatever is going on.

‘It makes a difference to my soul.’

The Buddying and Befriending scheme is part of the charity Changing Lives Together and was commissioned by Brightlife to reduce loneliness and isolation in the over 50s across Cheshire.

Do you have an unusual friendship that’s changed your life? Get in touch to tell us more about it by emailing

MORE: I’m 21 and my flatmate is a 92-year-old woman

MORE: Pensioner, 78, who is struggling with loneliness weeps as students surprise him with Christmas tree

MORE: Widower, 86, eats lunch every day at nearby school to beat loneliness


READ  You've been applying glitter nail polish 'wrong', according to beauty vlogger

Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.