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Romford man, 67, opens up about loneliness in revealing BBC Radio 4 appeal

PUBLISHED: 15:09 08 February 2017 | UPDATED: 15:09 08 February 2017

Don Adams told his story as part of the Friends of the Elderly’s appeal.

Don Adams told his story as part of the Friends of the Elderly’s appeal.

Archant

A 67-year-old has hailed a charity’s work after he suddenly slipped into isolation following his retirement from work.

Don Adams speaking on Radio 4. Don Adams speaking on Radio 4.

Don Adams, 67, from Romford, spoke at length on BBC Radio 4 about feeling lonely after he left his job six years ago.

Don told his story as part of Friends of the Elderly’s appeal.

He said: “I didn’t go out, I didn’t socialise. I lost confidence and I was told I was becoming reclusive, which I never really accepted.”

The avid West Ham fan claims he didn’t know how to reconnect with society until he was given a leaflet about Friends of the Elderly’s Football Friends programme.

The scheme runs for five weeks and allows older fans to reconnect over their love of football by learning about the history of their favourite club.

Don said: “I don’t like to think where I would be today if Friends of the Elderly hadn’t come along – they’ve changed my life. I now have some wonderful new friends.

“Bill, who’s in his eighties, describes this as the most meaningful thing he’s done since losing his wife; it’s really transformed life for so many of us.”

The national charity has now warned of more older men becoming isolated with the gap between male and female life expectancy narrowing.

Sally McLachlan, senior engagement manager, said: “By 2030, it’s estimated that 1.5 million older men will be living alone.

“We know that older men can find it harder to socialise and make friends, and they tend to bond more over a common interest such as football.

“Our Football Friends programme has made a big difference to Don’s life and many other older peoples, and we are hoping to roll this out to more communities.”

For more information about the charity, please click here or call 0330 332 1110.

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