Maria is 81 years old and lives on her own in the small town of Elche in Southern Spain. Since her husband Roberto died 5 years ago, Maria has struggled to keep active. She has some arthritis in her hip and walking is sometimes painful. This means that she has to spend more time at home and that can get lonely. When Maria joined MyMate, she really wanted some company, someone to talk to and share in her love of cooking and food.

Her local elderly care centre asked her some simple questions about her life and her passions and from that they matched her with Sophia, a lovely lady, also from Elche, who is one of the volunteers with MyMate. Sophia is a few years younger than Maria and also loves to cook. Plus she loves to talk!

Sophia visits Maria at home once or twice a week. They talk, they cook, they eat and they also go out on walks and to the shops. For Maria, she now has a new friend who she knows will be there every week and who can help her if she needs help. The impact on her life has been significant – Maria is less lonely now and seeing Sophia encourages her to get out more and to live a more full life. She has also learned some great new recipes!