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I made a friend for Life in Lockdown

Vineyard 61 (London)

As we’ve been locked down in our houses this year, more people than ever have felt isolated. That is why we especially loved this story of unusual friendship between Ellie Rink, aged 29, and Gladys Reyes, aged 66.

Charity worker Ellie, and retired cleaner Gladys, originally from Ecuador, met after Ellie was furloughed in the first lockdown and volunteered for her church, Vineyard 61, who were pairing volunteers with vulnerable members of the community. 

Ellie and Gladys spoke on the phone for a couple of months before meeting, and now continue to enjoy shopping trips and walks in the park together. Ellie shared, “We go for a walk once a week. We laugh and dance and Gladys teaches me about cooking. I’ve definitely made a friend for life.”

Gladys added: “I have a son Reinaldo and daughter Carla in Ecuador who are 44 and 35 and I miss them terribly, but Ellie always cheers me up. We have a giggle together and I really look forward to seeing her. We will be friends forever. She’s enriched my life.”

You can check out the video below, where Ellie shares about how this pairing has not just helped out Gladys, but brought so much joy to her life too!

If you’ve got a story about reading out to others and connecting with your community during this season, we’d love to hear it! Email us at [email protected]

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