Let’s start by making it clear that ‘Donald’ isn’t the real name of the man in this story.
However, the story itself is all too real.
Donald and his landlord wanted to share the story to show how Age UK Lindsey, with the support of Lincolnshire’s Freemasons and the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), has turned his life around.
It all started when serious financial problems - and the worry they brought - were making Donald ill.
As a consequence, he wasn’t sleeping and, despite all his efforts, he couldn’t see any solution to his difficulties.
Eviction was a very real threat, but his landlord, let’s call him ‘Jack’, didn’t want it to come to that.
Jack explains: “Donald is in his 70s, and relies on his state pension and a relatively modest housing benefit award.
“His financial situation was causing him distress and anxiety.”
Jack contacted Age UK Lindsey, at which point volunteer Pam Cox entered the story.
Jack added: “Donald and I met Pam two or three times.
“She was instrumental in getting him a higher level of attendance allowance and improved pension credit, which allowed him not only to clear his rent arrears, but made him £150 a week better off.”
Pam volunteered to help Age UK for six months almost ten years ago,- and she never left!
She says there is as much as £1m in unclaimed benefits in the system.
Pam says: “The application process (for benefits) can be very difficult.
“Even if you understand the system, and how to fill in forms, it can take as long as two hours to complete a single application.
“Obviously, that can be a barrier to people applying.”
Not all landlords are as helpful and understanding as Jack.
However, Jack is full of praise for Age UK Lindsey - and the work they do across the county from their headquarters in Horncastle.
Jack said: “I really cannot stress enough just how magnificent the work of Age UK Lindsey has been.
“I’m full of admiration for the organisation, and Pam Cox in particular.
“It’s an excellent organisation and its work can’t be commended highly enough.”
Donald, given such vital support, is now very happy with this life. The anxiety has gone, and with a smile on his face he was able to say: “I’ve just been to see the doctor.
“ He says I’m 400% better than I was. I’m cheerful again.”